Students say ‘Aloha’ to homecoming activities


Brendan Glover

After leaving the firehouse in downtown Utica, the marching band makes its way through the streets, on their way to the football stadium.

Every school year, there are some events that stand out from the rest. To many students and staff, the homecoming parade, game and dance are some of them. Even though the events were earlier than most were used to, the students and staff were still excited to enjoy the festivities.

“It’s crazy that it’s so early because it is very hectic,” principal Tom Lietz said. “It’s also awesome because we get all of our big things out of the way in the first three weeks.”

The first event that excited many students was the homecoming parade. Whether they were actually in the parade or sitting on the sidelines, there were many who were filled with school spirit as they were seeing the floats come by, sneaking a peek at the many clubs and sports, and catching the candy that came flying their way.

“My job during the parade was to check in clubs and sports,” senior Rachael Mooney said. “Even with my injured knee, I managed to walk and pass out candy with the other student council members.”

Soon after that, many students were huddled in the bleachers as they cheered on their classmates during the homecoming game.

One of the many things that made this game different from any other was the fact that the homecoming game was named High School Game of the Week by WXYZ news. Some of the students and staff were interviewed before the big game started.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” senior kicker Veronica Kramer said. “I didn’t know what they were going to ask me. It was on the spot.”

During a timeout, coach Mark Moehlig reviews a play in the game against Anchor Bay. The team would go on to win the game in the final minutes, with a score of 28-27.
Katelyn Tremper
During a timeout, coach Mark Moehlig reviews a play in the game against Anchor Bay. The team would go on to win the game in the final minutes, with a score of 28-27.

For most of the game, Anchor Bay had took the lead by six points whether the score was 14 to 21, or 21 to 27. With only a couple minutes remaining, the Chieftains were able to score a touchdown when junior Patrick O’Connor threw a pass to senior R.J. Pinto in the last two minutes, tying the game 27 to 27. Kramer brought home the victory by kicking the extra point with a minute left on the clock.

“My favorite part is when everyone would get really hyped up,” senior Nicole Miller said, “or really quiet when there was suspense in the game.”

Another highlight of the night was when the homecoming court was introduced on the field, escorted by family members. The announcer then revealed the results of the senior class voting, when Kumehnnu Gwilly was named king.

“That was a great way to go out with the parade, the game, and the dance,” Gwilly said. “It was awesome.”

The announcer finished the evening’s festivities by naming Alyssa Petruski the queen.

“I was extremely happy and honored,” Petruski said, “that I had tremendous support from my school for choosing me as homecoming queen.”

To top the weekend off, many students dressed up for the aloha-themed homecoming dance, which included the latest music, socializing with friends, and taking pictures of everyone in dresses or suits.

“The dance was really fun,” senior Paul Marble said. “I danced like a fool, but overall it was a blast.”

Even though this is their first year at Utica, the sophomores that attended also had a fabulous time in this once a year event.

In the gymnasium, senior Saxton Baumann dances with her date, Ryan Reed.

Alexia Miller
“I liked going to the dance,” sophomore Heather Pezanowski said, “because I get to see all of my friends and have the experience of a lifetime.”

Many agreed that this year’s homecoming, although early, was a great success.

“My first homecoming really reached my expectations,” sophomore Julia Aquino said. “I danced with my friends and just had a lot of fun as a whole.”