Competition day returns, kicking off homecoming week

After COVID shut down the annual assembly last year, the 2021 event will be held outside

Austin Lamphier, Reporter

When COVID-19 forced schools to move to a virtual platform last fall, homecoming week was just one of many activities that were shut down. Although the senior class was the only one to experience the annual events when they were sophomores, all classes will have the chance to participate this year.

The competition assembly is one of the most highly-anticipated returning events, despite a few changes.

Instead of having the assembly during the first half of the day, it will be held later, during fifth and sixth hours. In order to attend, students must be in school all day.

In addition, this year’s assembly will take place outside on Swinehart Field, instead of the main gymnasium.

“It is outside because with a gathering that large, I did not feel it was safe to put all of those kids inside,” principal Thomas Lietz said. “We know COVID transmits in closed spaces more readily, and outdoors incredibly minimally. It’s a safety issue.”

The school is aware of the challenges associated with an outdoor assembly.

“We obviously have to worry about weather and getting everyone across to Swinehart,” Lietz said, “but we’re happy to worry about that versus worrying about kids getting sick.”

Events and guidelines about competition day, along with the rest of spirit week, were shared this week.

“I know it’s a day of excitement when we have the competition assembly,” Lietz said in his Friday morning announcements. “Let’s make sure that we’re keeping that excitement and that fun school appropriate. The reality is, if we’re not, the first consequence to that process is going to be the loss of your ability to go and attend anything to do with homecoming.”

During fifth hour, students will walk over to Swinehart Field for the assembly, which will include performances in center field from the band, cheer and dance teams. Games, including a new water balloon toss and the traditional tug-of-war, will pit classes against one another, and the homecoming court will also be introduced.

UPDATE: The competition assembly has been moved to Tuesday, Oct. 5, due to weather concerns.