2023 Homecoming: preparations, royalty winners, & game rundown

HALFTIME SHOW ENDS with seniors’ 90’s rap themed dance. (Olivia Vergopia)

Nicolle Generaux | Editor-in-Chief    &    Olivia Vergopia | Head Editor

September 28, 2023

The San Clemente High School homecoming game was — per usual — jam packed with exciting events and entertainment. Because it is always the most attended game of the year by students and locals, ASB, loud crowd, and the rest of the school had to be diligent in their preparations and high in their spirits to make the game enjoyable and one of a kind. 

It all started with the themes assigned to each grade, which this year was inspired by decade music trends: freshmen were disco, sophomores were rock, juniors were country, and seniors were 90s rap. For the game, each grade dressed up as their theme to show their school pride, and SCHS loud crowd distributed themed props for the overflowing student section; this year, they gave out inflatable guitars, beat boxes, and microphones. A participant in the senior halftime dance, Gabe Townley said, “dancing during the halftime show with my friends to 90s hip hop was definitely the highlight of the night. The energy levels were high and there was so much positivity all around.” 

After a 90 minute pre-game event inside the stadium, the night officially began with a performance by the nationally recognized SCHS dance team, and was followed by the SCHS Madrigals singing the national anthem. 

2023 HOMECOMING ROYALTY: Anthony Wu and Piper Prather. (Olivia Vergopia)

And the game began. Right off the bat, the opposing team, Murrieta Valley highschool, scored a touchdown, much to the tritons’ dismay. However, quickly following that score, the tritons reached the end zone themselves, leveling the score to 7-7. For the next 45 minutes or so, both teams fought rigorously, and possession of the ball went back and forth – eventually leading to a tight halftime score of 14-14.

Immediately following the halftime alarm blare, every student participating in the halftime show rushed to the 40 yard lines, anxiously waiting for their turn to stage their moves. Each grade choreographed their own dance based on their assigned themes. Freshmen began the show and came out in their neon-colored shirts and headbands, dancing to songs like the Bees Gees’ “Stayin Alive” and Abba’s “Dancing Queen.” Sophomores dressed in Led Zeppelin merch performed next, rocking out to music from Queen, ACDC, and finally Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” Juniors trotted out in cowboy boots and brown leather hats and country-line danced to popular songs like Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” and Rednex’s “Cotton Eye Joe.” And to end the dance show with a bang, seniors in baggy jeans, loose white t-shirts, gold chains and sideways hats jammed to raps like Van Halen’s “Jump” and The Notorious B.I.G. ‘s “Big Poppa.”

Then the homecoming court, consisting of the top 5 girls and the top 5 boys, walked across the width of the football court with poise as Mr. Popovich elaborated to the crowd about each individual’s accomplishments, thanks, and intentions for the future. Just before halftime ended, the homecoming king and queen were announced: this year, it was Anthony Wu and Piper Prather. Everyone erupted into applause, people rushed the field to congratulate the winners, pictures were taken, and the spirit of the tritons rose far above the stadium lights. 

SCHS TRITONS FIGHT IT OUT AGAINST MURRIETA NIGHT HAWKS: the battle only gets tougher after halftime. (Olivia Vergopia)

The halftime entertainment ended, and the game resumed. Although the scores were just about even throughout the entire second half, Murrieta Valley attempted a 2-point-conversion and succeeded – ending the game by taking a knee and resulting in the score being Tritons 38 – NightHawks 39. This was the tritons’ first loss of the official season, their overall score being 5 wins to 1 loss. 

Junior Max Bolliger, Number 59 and center on the football field, expressed that the game was, “probably one of the most heartbreaking losses of [his] highschool career because of the fact that it was the homecoming game, and it was a game [he] really thought they could have won.” He also mentioned that they, “still have one more home game though, so I have hope in that.” 

Even though the final score did not reflect the desires and hopes of the tritons, we should not easily forget the excitement, fun, and spirit that struck through the hearts of everyone attending the game. 

“One Town, One Team” will only emerge stronger and more fired-up for the next challenge. The last home game is against Tesoro on October 27th. Be there! 

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