Minooka Community High School’s Homecoming parade Friday was the culmination of a week’s worth of games, contests, dressing up and smaller parades, all to prepare for the Homecoming football games against the Romeoville Spartans that night.
Homecoming has its roots in the 19th century, when colleges and universities held their first football games of the season, and alumni would return to their alma maters.
Things might look a little different now, with parade floats depicting a chomping “Pac-Man” video game, a giant Rubik’s Cube and Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer driving the department’s decked out Dodge Charger D.A.R.E. car.
The air was filled with excitement and yelling as floats passed by, trucks hauled football players, cheerleaders and Poms dancers performed routines, and kids along the sides of the streets scrambled for candy.
“We have had a great Homecoming week, organized by our activities director and her staff and the student council,” MCHS Principal Ron Kiesewetter said. “Our student body has been stellar. Programs were well attended. It all leads up to the game tonight and the dance tomorrow.”
The grand marshals of the parade were Stan, Janis and Joe Tischer, well-known to the MCHS community. Stan Tischer retired last year and was a coach of just about every sport during his career, from football to wrestling to fishing, said Hillary Holden, director of activities at MCHS. Jan Tischer is an English teacher and will retire at the end of this year.
“They have been a part of the MCHS community for a long time,” Holden said.
A Homecoming wouldn’t be complete without a king and queen. Seniors Nicole Lovato and Dylan Fisher won those honors. Their nominations come from a sport or activity sponsor with which they are involved. The process goes through the student body and the student council.
The Homecoming court includes a couple from each class. Elyse Pettigrew and Carson McFadden represented the freshmen; Keaghan Otto and Vincent Van Eck, the sophomores; and Samantha Norman and Matt Fisher represented the juniors. The Homecoming parade and a week’s worth of activities takes a lot of minds and hands to pull off. The MCHS student council was in charge of the whole week, Holden said.
And she said she would feel remiss if she didn’t mention former alumna and parent Patty Klank, who was responsible for bringing the parade back to the school.