• 72°

It’s Homecoming time again

Aside from graduation, there is no more memorable time in a high school student’s life — and his life after school — than Homecoming.

Today, both Demopolis schools, Demopolis High School and John Essex High School, will mark their Homecoming Day. Both schools had celebratory bonfires last night, both will play their Homecoming games tonight and both will take part in a unified Homecoming parade through downtown today at 1 p.m.

“We’ve had a Mardi Gras theme,” said DHS principal Dr. Isaac Espy Jr. “Our students have enjoyed building the floats at night at the Armory. It’s always a good time for our students to learn teamwork and leadership, and just have a nice time.

“We’ve had Hippie Day, Mardi Gras Day, Super Heroes Day — it’s been an enjoyable week. We had some class competitions yesterday in the gym to find out which is the best class. We’re still tallying the score. There is just no substitute for school spirit and school morale.”

“So far this week, we’ve had a Powder Puff football game on Monday, where the girls were the players and the boys were the cheerleaders,” said John Essex teacher Romekia Johnson. “On Wednesday, we had our coronation. Our theme is a Hawai’ian theme.

“Our dress-up days — Monday was Tacky Day, Tuesday was Twin Day, Wednesday was Dress-Up Day, Thursday was Favorite Team Day, and Friday is Blue and Gold.

“For the elementary school, we did something different,” she said. “On Tuesday, they wore their pajamas to school, and (Thursday) instead of Favorite Team Day, they dressed up as their favorite cartoon.”

“John Essex, our friends down the highway, will join in the parade,” Espy said. “We are certainly glad to have our friends from John Essex join in. We have joined up with John Essex in prior years, when we had a parade on the same day, and we ought to have a lot of fun.”

Students worked hard on their parade floats, with the DHS students working at the National Guard Armory on U.S. Highway 43 South and the JEHS students working at the Culpepper Warehouse on West Washington Street.

“I’ve been working on the junior float and the Homecoming float for the queen and the maids,” said DHS junior Jasmine Daniels. “I’m one of the maids, so this means a lot to me. I can’t wait!”

“It means a lot; it’s my school,” said JEHS junior Javoris Merriweather. “I’m very excited. I’ve enjoyed helping to work on the floats and helping my school. It means a lot to me.”

“I’ve dressed up this week on the dress-up days at school,” said DHS junior Keyan Walker. “I was told that Homecoming was for the seniors coming home or whatever, but it’s just fun. I think it’s just to have fun. It’s also about showing your school pride.”

“We’ve been decorating the float,” said JEHS junior Preston Parker. “Anything that was needed, we did it. Homecoming means a lot. I’ve been going to school all my life.

“I’m very excited, and I hope Demopolis wins its game,” said DHS senior Aaron Kellom. “That will give me something to remember about Demopolis High School.”

Homecoming is a special time, whether it’s the students of today working hard to show school pride through their floats and decorations or the seniors of times past coming back and reliving those days themselves. It’s a time to bring school pride to the games, an annual event that stands out with each passing year.