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Homecoming has evolved over time at Grossmont High School - FlagSpin

Homecoming has evolved over time at Grossmont High School

thumbnail 2023 cheer at homecoming pep assembly

Since 1921, after the graduation of Grossmont High’s first class, Homecoming has been a tradition, but over the past 102 years, it has evolved.

In the 1920’s Homecoming was called “Alumni Day”; the celebrations varied, but often included an alumni play, a basketball game, a dance, and alumni attending classes of their favorite teachers.

In 1930, the yearbook states, at “its annual “visiting day” at Grossmont…. as many “old grads” as can possibly do so return to the familiar haunts and halls of their alma mater to live again, for a while, in memories of the time when they, too, were students here.”

thumbnail ghs royalty court 2023 with cody bigley, ellie dilgard, molly blakeley, faythe jordan, queen dahlia blake, king tony canepa, joey clark, brandon hermosillo, elias burlaza , and mylie weston
Homecoming is always a great time at Grossmont High School. The 2023 Court included (L-R): Cody Bigley, Ellie Dilgard, Molly Blakeley, Faythe Jordan, Queen Dahlia Blake, King tony Canepa, Joey Clark, Brandon Hermosillo, Elias Burlaza, Mylie Weston.

This year, Homecoming week included dress up days: Wednesday, Dress like Your Favorite Celebrity; Thursday, Western Day, and Friday, Extreme Blue and Gold. Homecoming was celebrated Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8-9.

Friday began with KUSI’s Alarm Clock Pep Rally, with the students and staff arriving at 5:45, followed by spirited activities designed to “raise the roof” and the decibels of the New Gym.

During the school day, the annual pep rally was another enthusiastic event that delighted the students. It included the introduction of the 2023 inaugural Girls Flag Football team (GUHSD’s only Flag Football team), followed by student and staff competitions, and performances by the cheer squad.

Again, the GHS staff’s willingness to “look silly” continued to build school spirit by their participation in two contests.

Team Bowling

In the first contest, after being pushed, one staff member rides a dolly down the gym floor and runs into empty boxes, trying to knock them down. The brave volunteers were Ms. Beckhard (Rider), Mrs. Carlino (Rider), Mrs. McLaughlin (Rider), Ms. Ray (Rider), Mr. Talley (Push), Mr. Valoria (Push), Ms. Barker (Push) and Ms. Alvarado (Push).

Chris Ray, the Sports Medicine Pathway teacher, shared, “Today I was one of the riders for the teacher bowling event.  It is a lot of fun interacting with the students. It’s a great way to create more school spirit, and it is something we can talk about in class besides the usual work assignments.”

Pusher Michele Barker, Special Education aide, revealed, “I volunteered to do the human bowling because I love engaging the students & showing them that I’m not afraid of making a fool of myself to make them laugh! I’m working towards building self-confidence in my students, which is something I wished I had going through high school. The students responded very favorably; a lot of my former students are used to me being silly on campus. I can’t wait until I can volunteer for the next one!”

Don’t Forget the Lyrics

In the second contest, a staff member picks a high energy song. Then while it is played, they sing it in front of the school. While they sing the lyrics, they empty a very wet sponge on an administrator.

Teacher singers and their songs were Ms. Montesanto – Song: No Scrubs (TLC); Ms. King – Song: Love Story (T-Swift); Ms. Ecker – Song: God’s Plan (Drake); Mrs. Williams – Song: Single Ladies (Beyoncé); Mrs. LoPrell – Song: Closer (Chainsmokers) and Senora Joyce & Senora Velarde – Song: Vivir Me Vida (Marc Anthony).

thumbnail mercedes joyce and melissa velarde sing vivir me vida to principal dan barnes
Mercedes Joyce and Melissa Velarde sing Vivir Me Vida to Principal Dan Barnes

While they were singing, these staff members were getting wet: Mr. Rutherford – Teacher; Mrs. Vargas-Wilson – Counselor; Mr. Galvez – VP; Ms. Brooks – VP; Ms. Froumis – VP and Mr. Barnes – Principal.

A delighted Senora Melissa Velarde exclaimed, “I love to volunteer because it is important that my students see me being involved at school. I especially love this assembly and I have been participating in this activity for years. All of my students told me that they saw me and that they really liked the dance, song, activity. Always fun!”

Senora Mercedes Joyce shared that “We have sung “Vivir Mi Vida” at the assembly for years now, and it has turned into a GHS tradition. The kids learn this song in class, and they love to participate while we sing at the assembly. I love to see the kids involved in school activities.

As soon as we get back to the classroom, they always say “Señora Joyce, we saw you singing! We wanted to sing too”! We loved it! “Vivir Mi Vida” is a song that will always bring good memories to the students and the teachers.” This year, Dan Barnes escaped a drenching by dancing with the proficient singers, who were not liable to make a mistake while they sang.

Royalty Court

In the 1920’s-1946, Grossmont students selected a Harvest Queen to celebrate the harvest of farm crops. Grossmont’s first Homecoming Queen was chosen in 1947 while the first Homecoming King was chosen in 1974.

thumbnail dance performs at halftime 1
The GHS dance team performs during halftime.

This year’s Homecoming theme was Music Festival, which was reflected in the half-time show and in the on campus dance held on Saturday night. The halftime festivities included performances by the Royal Blue Regiment and by dance students.

Fireworks followed the announcement of the 2023 Royalty Court: Cody Bigley, Ellie Dilgard, Molly Blakeley, Faythe Jordan, Queen Dahlia Blake, King Tony Canepa, Joey Clark, Brandon Hermosillo, Elias Burlaza, and Mylie Weston.

thumbnail 2023 homecoming varsity football entrance
The GHS football team is ready for action. (Courtesy photos)

After the weekend, senior Alex Banman exclaimed, “This was my favorite homecoming of my 4 years at GHS! It was awesome! Friday started at 6 a.m. with the KUSI Alarm Clock Pep Rally, then a school-wide assembly, and finished with fireworks at the halftime show! The Saturday evening dance was a blast!”

For 102 years, at Homecoming, students and staff have created memorable ways to commemorate the words, “It’s Great to Be Young and a Foothiller.”

For information about Foothiller history and the GHS Museum, email Connie and Lynn at [email protected] or call 619-992-1497; visit our website at to read our August newsletter.

Email us if you’d like to join our alumni and friends email registry.

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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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