'A PRETTY MAGICAL DAY'
Homecoming in Lake Oswego is always an exciting time of the year, not only for students and parents but for the community as a whole. And that was certainly true on Friday, when Lakeridge High School celebrated its Homecoming with a spirited parade and assembly, an overtime football win over Sherwood and a semi-formal dance.
The theme of Lakeridge's Homecoming this year was "Bright Lights in the Big City," a nod to New York City. The parade included floats designed and decorated by each grade, a performance by the cast of the fall musical "Mary Poppins," music by the marching band and performances by the dance and cheer teams.
The floats are always a point of competition between the grade levels, and this year the Class of 2018 took home top honors for their fourth win in a row. The seniors' spirited float featured New York street signs, a New York skyline, a student dressed as the Statue of Liberty and more.
As the parade rolled down A Avenue in downtown Lake Oswego on a sunny afternoon, Lakeridge parents and students lined the street to watch their families and friends celebrate in what has become a beloved local tradition. (Lake Oswego High students will get their own parade during the Lakers' Homecoming on Oct. 20.)
Students from Our Lady of the Lake were released early and watched the parade with wide eyes as it rolled past their school. Led by a police escort, the parade started at 10th Street and A Avenue and made its way down to Third Street to the sound of applause and clicking cameras.
Ann Whalen, a parent of a Lakeridge football player, says she loves how the community comes together to show their spirit and support for the school.
"The parade is just one example of what makes Lake Oswego an incredible city to live in," she says. "And it was a beautiful day for a parade."
Junior Homecoming Princess Lily Barna says she remembers watching the parade as a freshman.
"I didn't think one day it would be me up there!" she says. "And so it was just such a nice moment of recognition and thankfulness to be a part of such a connected and inclusive community."
The school spirit continued at the football game Friday night against the Sherwood Bowmen. It was a close game, going into double overtime before the Pacers eventually claimed victory in their first Homecoming win since 2013.
Halftime featured performances by the dance and cheer teams, as well as the marching band. Each member of the Homecoming Court (Molly O'Leary, Elisa Buchanan, Zoe Kapp, Sophia Palumbis, Sydney Utech, Lily Barna, Kendall Ensing and JennaGrace Milionis) was escorted onto the field (mostly by their fathers), and senior Kendall Ensing was crowned Homecoming Queen.
Barna, who was escorted by her brother Ben, says the entire Homecoming experience was great.
"It was such an incredible experience to feel so supported by my classmates and have my Pacer family all around me," she says.
Whalen, who also attended the football game to cheer on her son Marcus and the rest of the team, says the game was where Pacer pride really came alive.
"The Pacer football team came together to prove what they can accomplish when pushed," she says.
Varsity cheer captain Sarah May-Varas says the game was full of intensity and suspense, especially on the field.
"It was so exciting. We were all on the edge of our seats waiting to see what was happening," she says. "It was really nice to win Homecoming our senior year. It felt like everyone came together for that game."
After the game, Coach Elvis Akpla invited all of the fans onto the field to help celebrate the win with the team.
All in all, Whalen says, it was "a pretty magical day."