We’re Bringing Spirit Back

By Amanda Roach and Ethan Kaitner

October at Thurston has historically been a pretty big deal to the Eagles.  Over time, it seemed that school spirit was dwindling, but as more and more students began to take notice, it soon became necessary to do something to bring it back.  The staff could provide opportunities, but it is only the students that can truly make it work.

Homecoming Week at Thurston High School hosted many new adventures.  Instead of an indoor spirit assembly, the Eagles flew the coop and took their spirit to the parking lot for a pre-game tailgate.  Along with step, cheer, and band performances, the classes competed in a donut eating contest and a saran wrap relay.  Students also competed in a dance competition as well as got their spirit on by getting their faces painted, hair sprayed, and buying spirit wear before the big game.

Cocooned in saran wrap, four juniors tried their hardest to race across the parking lot

but quickly discovered that moving as one was not a simple task.  As the crowd cheered and laughed, the juniors collapsed as one allowing the senior team to take first at the tailgate.  The idea starting during yearbook class one day and was pitched to Ms. Proctor, the student council advisor.  Always the main proponent of all things school spirit, she quickly bought rolls of saran wrap.

When student government was deciding the days for spirit week, the only thing on their mind was how to get people to participate. The days were the following: Monday: Detroit Day, Tuesday:Throwback Day,  Wednesday: Fashion Disaster,  and Thursday: Class Color Day.     Senior Maddy Brooks said, “It was very surprising to see how many people participated this year; it is obvious that spirit is making a comeback.” Senior Logan Charlton added “Throwback Day was my favorite. It was cool to dress up from a different era, and my friends and I dressed like Greasers.”

One hundred and twenty seniors crowded on graduation stage to show off their Run THS t-shirts for Class Color Day.  As their yearbook photo was snapped, the chant of SENIORS boomed through the courtyard. One of the designers of the Run THS shirts, Natalie Joniec stated “For one, it was surreal. It was so weird seeing our design on 120 different kids. But I would do it again 1,000 more times because of the feeling it gave me.”  Natalie already has some ideas for the spirit week in February.

When it was time for Thurston High School to play their game, they had a specific area in the stands for students participating in a newly formed student section. The idea of the student section is to bring more fun and hype during the games. The feet stomping and re-enactment of a roller coaster ride in the student section of the Homecoming football game made parents and alumni pause and take notice.When asked about how the student section went for the first time, Thurston High School Quarterback Travis Wesenberg responded, “The plan for the student section is to bring forth more enthusiasm and get the games to be a good experience. I think we are accomplishing that, but it can still improve. I’m pretty happy about it.” Thanks to Travis Wesenberg and Amanda Roach for restarting hopefully a continued tradition.

During our homecoming football game, Thurston was successfully able to win against Dearborn Heights Crestwood, 29-12. Number 11, Isiah Crofford, who is the team’s wide receiver and safety said “We started off sluggish but recovered and made the plays we needed to make to win the game.” Number 4 Chris Johnson added, “I think the football game was energetic and fun, the crowd was live, and the spirit was high. The student section helped to get us pumped.”

When asked how the experience was like being on the homecoming court, Marquin Stanley who was representing the step team, said “It was really fun.  I had a great time during the week. I was pretty nervous at the game but I was fine after the winners were announced.” Senior Allison Collins added, “It really built my self esteem, I am very self conscious and just being apart of court and wearing the crown and sash made me feel very important.”

The king and queen were crowned differently this year. Everyone got a box with a rose in it, and whoever opened the box and had the white rose won, while everyone else had a red rose. Not only did it stir up butterflies in everyone’s stomach, it was the start of an exciting new tradition. Kejuan Gordon, who was nominated by the Varsity football team was crowned king. He stated “First I was a little nervous, but it feels good to be king.” Amanda Roach, nominated by Student Government was crowned queen and added “I don’t think it hit me that I really won until everyone started cheering, and someone handed me the bigger crown, I was in so much shock and  it was definitely a moment I will never forget.”

After homecoming was scheduled, student government soon discovered that due to professional development for teachers, there was no school on homecoming Friday.  This meant no pep rally.  No one really knew how to react about not having a pep rally, but instead of being mad about it and do nothing about it, the idea of the tailgate was born.  The amount of people who showed up to the tailgate and the energy that they brought with them, made it obvious that it was a hit. “I really enjoyed the tailgate because instead of having two spirit assemblies where theres half the school at each one, anyone who wanted to come could come to one big event. So I thought it was really fun and the Steppers did a really good job after only having like three weeks of practice. I would definitely do another tailgate, I thought it was great,” said Mrs. Frankling, Step Coach.

Along with the tradition of each class decorating banners, the teachers have started their own tradition by decoration of their doors. The winner of the 2014 door decorating competition was Mrs.Bodrie and Mrs. Ferris. When asked where they got the idea for decorations, Ms. Bodrie said “I wanted to do something that included everyone, and the curriculum. Each student edited a photo of themselves onto a passport and we got pictures of different places that people wanted to visit. Also, it was motivation on its own to beat two time winning Mrs.Frankling.”

The theme of the homecoming was Passport to homecoming. The decorations for the dance included flags from all over, and included different statues of famous sites around the world. Sophomore, Maggie Young said ”It was a great time, and was a memorable night. It was so much fun finding a dress, and getting ready.”

This was Assistant Principal Mr.Justice’s first year at a high school dance.  “This year’s homecoming dance is certainly a lot different from the dance I remember in 1978. What the students wore was much different and of course the music, I didn’t identify with. So yes, it was a very different experience for myself.”

So many captured moments during Homecoming Week 2014 all pointed to one result:  the Thurston Eagles have definitely brought their school spirit back.

 

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