Even though the tradition of homecoming has its origins in alumni football games held at colleges and universities since the mid-19th century, many schools lay claim to having the first homecoming.
The NCAA, Trivial Pursuit, and Jeopardy give the title to the University of Missouri.
Although the tradition of Missouri’s homecoming can be traced back to 1891, it wasn’t until Missouri met Kansas in 1911 that the true tradition of homecoming with a parade, a spirit rally with bonfire, and a football game began.
It was for that game that the university’s athletic director invited all alumni to “come home” for the 1911 contest.
Thus, the model for other colleges, universities and high schools was formed.
• York High School has followed the model with several creative days with various “dress up” themes.
When I visited the high school I actually thought the head volleyball coach had taken a hit in the eye with her “wound” with the fake an injury day.
This was all in the fun of the week’s activities which is an offshoot of the traditions set 100 years earlier.
None the less, the spirit at both schools was high as the students prepared for the Dukes’ first home volleyball game of the season and the annual bonfire which took place on Thursday.
The students, staff and community will get pumped as the homecoming parade travels through downtown York this afternoon, and again tonight when the York Dukes play host to the Seward Bluejays on the gridiron at East Hill Park
At halftime of the game, returning royalty king Nate Brackhan (2010) and queen Brooke Jensen (2009) will present the crowns two of this year’s 10 candidates.
Queen candidates include Megan Fletcher, Dana Grenfell, Abby Haarmann, Jennie Magner and Sydney York. Those vying for king include Cole Dickes, Michael Dorsey, Landon Killion, Logan Meisinger and Henry Ott.
Good luck one and all.
• As mentioned above, Seward (1-3) travels to York (2-2) tonight to take on the Dukes for a 7 p.m. start.
Don’t be misled by Seward’s losing record. In its season opener, it dropped a 21-13 decision to Aurora. The Bluejays then lost to Ralston and Northwest before turning the tide and defeating Hastings 28-14 last week.
The Dukes, coming off a 35-0 loss to Pius X, should be in high spirits after a week of motivational activities at the school. Even though the game is not billed as a rivalry, it always seems like this is the game York wants the most.
With it being homecoming and many former Duke players and students in attendance, a victory would be a great finish to what has been a fun-filled week.
The Dukes have had their noses to the grindstone this week in preparation for tonight’s game. Critical turnovers and untimely penalties turned the tide last week in what was shaping up to be anyone’s ballgame.
The mistakes from a week earlier must be eliminated in order for York to be on the top end of the score this evening.
What could be a greater tribute to the York football staff and players as well as the returning alumni than having a packed house for the homecoming game?
• Speaking of packed houses.
The Coliseum in Lincoln was packed and rocking Wednesday night when the Nebraska volleyball team defeated Penn State, the four-time defending NCAA champion, 3-2. It was the Big 10 opener for both schools.
After dominating the first two games and the early part of the third, the Huskers lost their magic touch in the hitting department while the Nittany Lions came out of hibernation to win the next two games.
Then, Nebraska played a nearly flawless fifth game to defeat Penn State 15-10 in a game that was not as close as the score indicates.
The Huskers hit at a .353 clip while holding the Nittany Lions to a -.042. Husker junior Gina Mancuso was on fire and led the team in kills with 22 for the evening.
The other major difference maker was the crowd. It was absolutely wild in the packed-to-the-gills Coliseum. Nobody left their seats, and there was a constant roar from start to finish in the final game.
The players acknowledged the fans at the end of the match.
• Kudos are in order for the following individuals or teams.
— York Country Club’s Raul Cortes won the Club Car/Adidas Pro-Am golf tournament Monday at the Lincoln Country Club with a nifty six under 66. The nearest competitor was Ryan Vermeer of Oak Hills who fired a 69.
— Congratulations to 2008 York High graduates Sarah Hotovy and Kevin Rush for being selected to the homecoming courts at Nebraska Wesleyan and the UNL, respectively.
Hotovy, who is anticipating a May graduation with a double major in biochemistry and political science, was nominated by Global Service Learning and University Ministries.
Rush, a senior in the College of Education & Human Services and majoring in special education, was nominated by the Resident Hall Association.
Last minute notice from the Hotovy family was that Sarah was chosen as the homecoming queen.
As reported in Thursday’s edition, 2008 graduate Katlynn Killion and Bret Gardner (2009) are Duke alumni on the court at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Good luck as you make our “Duke Pride” even prouder.
• The Husker Home Run Club is inviting the public to come out to Hawks Field to meet the team, watch practice, and tour the facilities tomorrow morning.
The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will give fans a chance to watch the Huskers practice as the team goes through fall drills.
Those attending will be able to get an inside look at the Nebraska baseball program by touring the locker room and meeting the players and coaches including new head coach Darin Erstad, associate head coach and former Husker Will Bolt, coach Ted Silva, and volunteer assistant and former Husker catcher Jeff Christy.
The event is free for the public.