Saying Goodbye to Hoco ‘22: Simply Fantastical

The East Phoenix mascot. Photo by Jasmitha Keesara.

By Angelina Tang

We made it! We survived the first month of school. Give yourself a pat on the back! Homecoming festivities may feel an age away, what with tests and homework already piling up, but let’s look back on how we celebrated East spirit this year, after so much time away from one another.

We kicked it off on Friday the 23rd with a pep rally on the turf. It was predicted to be a chilly day, but the sun came out just in time for the assembly, and everyone was wearing their class t-shirt or respective color. The pep band played, and chorale sang the national anthem to kick off the festivities. The East Phoenix mascot was also active and kicking, running around and greeting students. After the sports parade, where the seniors of all of East’s sport teams were acknowledged, as well as a performance from our incredible cheerleading team, games such as musical chairs, relay race, and tug-of-war were played. The four classes competed in them; the seniors won tug-of-war. Finally, to conclude the rally, the nominees for homecoming court were announced. For Extracurriculars, we had Sarah Brunskill, Maryam Ismail, and Colleen Meosky. For Academics, we had Divya Goyal, Ava Rosenthal, and Sophie Zhu. For Spirit, we had Thomas Clark, Grace Kaiser, and Landon Roth. Finally, for Torch, we had Phillip Basile, Liz Crawford, and Anna Santoro.

In recognition of Rosh Hashanah, there were no homecoming events on the following Monday and Tuesday, but on Wednesday, the theme of the year, Fantasy, was celebrated! Freshmen dressed up as sci-fi, sophomores as magical creatures, juniors as villains, and seniors as superheroes. There were some great costumes around the school that day, including a multitude of Jokers and Spidermen. After school, the care walk was held on the track in order to raise money for cancer awareness.

Thursday was a busy day! First of all, the dress-up theme was Country versus Country Club. Plenty of straw hats, plaid, and cowboy boots were seen for the former, while tennis rackets, skirts, and nice shirts were abound for the latter. Right after school was the Powderpuff game, in which the senior and junior girls played touch football and the guys were cheerleaders. Particularly notable was the very last point of the game in overtime. The juniors got the ball first, but the seniors managed to snag it back and ultimately win 42-35! The guys’ cheerleading routines were also well-practiced and impressive. The senior football players coached the senior girls, while junior football players coached the juniors.

After the Powderpuff game came Taste of East and the bonfire! Taste of East is our unique, pride-and-joy Homecoming event. The student council, class offices, and over twenty clubs had stands selling a variety of foods. Without the Covid-based restriction of prepackaged food, options such as taco in a bag (Latin Club), cup noodles (Science Olympiad), and hot dogs (Junior class) were available. Also memorable were Paula’s donut holes (Newspaper Club), popcorn (Math Club), and cake pops (Stage Crew), among many, many other delicious options. Student council had a pie-a-teacher stand this year, at which, for five dollars, students could hit a teacher in the face with a pie plate of whipped cream. This was a hit! Particularly memorable was the rush when Mr. Meyer’s time for pie-ing came around… Regardless, the bonfire that followed the food was also fantastic. The flames caught, and the otherwise freezing night was kept at bay for the time being. Oh, and shout-out to East for permitting non-East students at this event. That was cool.

On Friday, the dress-up was simply Sea of Red! Everyone wore red and gold except the seniors, who dressed up in formal wear. The final pep rally was held on the turf again, this time with notably nicer weather. The pep band and cheerleading team both performed again. Games such as the chicken toss – which included a staff team – were enjoyed, and to wrap it up, all of the homecoming court nominees were walked by their family or friends down the field. The winners of East’s Homecoming Court ‘22 were thusly announced: Sarah Brunskill won E for Extracurriculars, Sophie Zhu won A for Academics, Landon Roth won S for Spirit, and Elizabeth Crawford won T for Torch. Congratulations again to our fantastic court! You represent the best of your class. Friday night ended with a football home game at East, the theme being all-red in the stands. We played against Kenmore West and swept the floor with them! Keep it up for a great season.
Finally, last but certainly not least, the dance arrived on Saturday, October 1st. It was moved indoors at the last minute due to weather concerns, which was probably for the best, as the energy this year was incontestably amplified compared to last year’s on the turf! The dance was in the gym and went from 6 to 9 pm. We had a fantastic DJ, Jim Stelliano, who also DJ’d JDD last year and will DJ Prom this year. He is an East alumnus from 2008. It was a fun night, so thank you, East, for making it great!

This year’s Homecoming may already be over, but fret not, for there is more to look forward to this school year. Halloween’s right around the corner, and after that, Winterfest is up in December! Here’s to a wonderful start to a great year. Let’s cherish our time together and enjoy the company!