This Homecoming Was Dino-Mite

Ben Schwartz , Photo Editor


Homecoming week was a huge hit at Manitou Springs High School this year. The week was fun-filled and action-packed with a mix of classic homecoming activities all centered around the theme Jurassic Park. Every day there was a new event: a hallway decorating contest, dress-up days, a drive-in movie, a soccer game, Powder Puff, tailgating, the parade, the bonfire, an assembly, the Homecoming game, and the dance.

To start of Homecoming week, Student Council members and their friends worked hard on Sunday to make the hallways of MSHS match the theme and spirit that they wanted to carry throughout the week. The Freshman hallway was decorated with dinosaur stickers and clip art as well as several banners and streamers sporting the Freshmen’s class color, pink. Other pieces such as a volcano and a mini dinosaur pinata effectively tied together their hallway. The Sophomore hallway’s look was a floral theme with a catchy, alliterative tagline, “Sophomore Season.” Multi-colored streamers and flowery banners complimented the space above and around the Sophomore lockers, brightening up the area. Juniors memorialized popular movie star and Jurassic World specialist Chris Pratt for their eccentric hallway theme. The Junior hallway was covered in hundreds of photos of Pratt, filling all the wall space they could. A giant banner, depicting a popular Pratt scene from the Jurassic World movies, adorned the wall above the staircase descending into the Freshman hallway. Seniors went wild with their hallway theme – literally. The senior hall had giant green sheets covering the walls with dinosaur cutouts on top of the green. Two paper trees pillared the large doorway into the language hallway with twisted paper vines curling off of them and vines hanging from other ledges down the hall. “Hall decorating was a reflection of the personality of each class. The Freshmen were incredibly artistic, the Sophomores were bright and cheery, while the Juniors had something chaotic going on. The Seniors had to create something cool out of a mess they had,” said Chloe Donegan (11).

Monday was the drive-in movie night. The high school parking filled with cars all arranged in a half-circle in anticipation of the start of Jurassic World. Before the movie began, students played soccer and socialized in the backs of their cars while jamming out to some of the freshest songs on the charts. As the day drew to a close and the sun finally dipped behind the mountains, the movie began. Students purchased concessions and then raced back to their cars, eager to watch the plot of the movie unfold. Students enjoyed the movie from the comfort of open trunks and flatbeds. Some students even wrapped themselves in blankets and sat on top of their cars. The movie night was a big hit for all of the students who went. “Movie night was something to look forward to because it brought all of MSHS together. We might be a small school, but we are one big family. Movie night was a time where we could all come together, enjoy a movie and some snacks with our best friends,” said Heidi Martin (11).

On Tuesday, the boys’ soccer team faced off in an energetic match against Faith Christian. Throughout the game, the Mustangs made multiple excellent saves and played a great game. The game ended in favor of the Mustangs and students left the game excited that the team was still undefeated for yet another game. After the game, students flocked to the upper activity field. As darkness fell, firetrucks turned on their power lights and firefighters began the task of preparing for the bonfire. Students, parents and staff created a buzz of sound as the pallets for fuel were lit up and the bonfire had begun. Those in attendance enjoyed the blaze from the safety of the fire-line while firefighters watched over the event to ensure the safety of both people and vegetation. At last, the bonfire had burned down to embers and the firefighters soaked the ground and remaining kindling with water to ensure a safe end to the blaze. “It was an amazing way to celebrate an amazing day,” said Spencer McCumber (11), “it was hot and bright but [the bonfire] is tradition and it brings us closer together.” One thing is for sure, this year’s Homecoming Bonfire was lit! 

The student body turned out in full-force on Wednesday for pre-game hot dogs, to support their class’s team through the enjoyment of a rare and exciting spectator sport, Powder Puff. The Lady Mustangs took the field with eagerness, both teams showing no signs of surrender. “It was really fun to see all the girls compete and enjoy themselves,” said Zak Talbot (12), the coach of the Senior-Sophomore team. At halftime, three cheerleaders, Kai Goss (12), Reece Mininger (12) and Tayler Knight (12), performed their routine to the song “Single Ladies.” The game ended in favor of the Senior and Sophomore team after they pulled ahead in the final quarter. Though the game was a lot of fun and the plays were spectacular. Some would say that the best part of the game was Mr. Brown’s announcing because “it really helped bring more energy to the event,” said Talbot.

Coming to the end of Homecoming week, Friday was filled with Homecoming celebrations even though it was only a half-day. With shortened classes, an assembly and a parade, the whole school was buzzing with excitement. The band and cheerleaders led students with the school song to the old gym for an exciting assembly. Two students from every club and sport represented their activity in a Jurrasic World themed competition with races, trivia and dinosaurs. Orion Lavigne (12), a representative of the football team, said “the competition was a great way to get the school into the school spirit, and it was a great last Homecoming pep rally.” Teachers and students got let out at 12:10 to walk down to Manitou Avenue for the parade. Everyone in the community showed up for the exciting parade that showcased the amazing groups that the Manitou School District has to offer.

Monday through Friday, students were encouraged to dress up according to the individual day themes associated with the overall Homecoming theme, Jurassic Park. Monday welcomed students to the park, with students and staff participating in Safari Day by wearing touristy gear, carrying cameras and wearing explorer hats and other items. Tuesday saw a flashback to the past in the form of Neon Nineties with students emulating styles from the early 90’s period, complete with neon complements and accents. On Wednesday the whole school was duplicated. Students paired up with a friend and matched their outfits and hairstyles to get participate in Clone Day. Classes showed off their spirit on Thursday in their class colors: Freshmen in pink, Sophomores in maroon, Juniors in blue and Seniors in their togas for the long tradition of Toga Day. The whole school got into the Manitou spirit on Friday. Students and teacher alike were decked out green and gold, some even covered head to toe. Seniors offered green and gold face paint to other students in the morning, especially to Freshmen as they were “froshed.” Freshman Ayla Flett loves the Homecoming dress up days because “it brings the school together. When the students and staff dress up, it’s fun to look around and see all the school spirit we have.”

Cheerleaders held nothing back with their pre-game tailgate on Friday afternoon. They offered hotdogs, drinks and ice cream as well as Manitou gear and games like cornhole for student enjoyment. The tailgate was a good way for students and other football fans to get together and hang out before the game. “I had lots of fun with Mr. Moeder Chandler and it’s a really fun way to get to know your principal,” said Charlotte Anderson (10) about the tailgate. The Friday night lights after the tailgate set the stage for the football team to play their Homecoming game. Unfortunate as it was that the Mustangs lost the game to Valley High, it was really something to see everyone turned out in their finest green and gold gear. Concessions provided some tasty choices for those who didn’t attend the tailgate and the stands were filled with parents, students, teachers, alumni and community members. The band boosted the morale of the crowd and the cheer team’s halftime show had the students on their feet and cheering. At the end of halftime, the tea, took to the field again and after running through a tunnel of students, burst through the banner the students were holding up. With fireworks shooting into the sky, the Mustangs put their game face on to finish the last half of a hard-fought game. The Mustangs put in a good effort and gave the student body an opportunity to return lots of school spirit. Camden Seal (10) said, “Even though everyone is pretty tired after all the events happening during Homecoming week, people still showed up to support our football team. I just think that sums up Manitou, we always show up for each other and always bring energy.”

Saturday night saw the last event in the Homecoming 2019 event series. The school was done over into Jurassic Park, with pillars inviting students into the park, vines and dark sheets covering the hallway leading down into the gym. Students could also relax and catch their breath in the commons space where they could play games and socialize. VIP members received access to the VIP room where pizza and beverages awaited them as the newest Jurassic World movie played. Thanks to DJ Rokbox and Mahlia Glass (11), the music selection and execution at the dance lent to a fantastic night. Hailey Huyser (9) liked “the songs during the dance and the decor in the halls.” Students had a blast dancing for three hours, some occasionally enjoying the spotlight of the raised dance stage at the front of the crowd. When the music finally stopped and students flooded out of the doors, it was clear that many had come to enjoy themselves and have their Homecoming week go out with a roar – and they had gotten just what they came for.