It's a wrap: CHS homecoming 2013
On Friday afternoon, droves of Claremont High School students gathered at Memorial Park in eager anticipation of two longstanding traditions: the crowning of the homecoming king and the CHS homecoming parade.
The bandshell stage was festooned with Egyptian-style decorations when emcee Lizzie Aguirre took the stage, dressed as Cleopatra. She first summoned the Wolfgang dance troupe for a lightning-fast performance and next called the five homecoming princesses—distinguishable from their peers by their gowns and tiaras—to the stage for a round of applause.
The ladies of honor, each accompanied by a relative, included Annika Ellwanger-Chavez, Hannah Chua, Hannah Hoyle, Nancy Mercado and Diana Zhao. Nancy, who was wearing a peach floor-length gown embellished with rhinestones, pronounced the experience “super exciting.”
“It’s such an honor. I didn’t think I’d be on court,” she said.
Diana’s escort was her 9-year-old brother Sean, who said it was good to see his sister chosen as a homecoming princess. He also, perhaps influenced by the exuberance of the teenaged crowd, said high school looks fun.
After a performance by the JV cheer squad, accentuated by metallic magenta pom-poms, Members of the CHS Choir lifted their voices in a rendition of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.” The crowd was next treated to a blast to the past in the form of last year’s homecoming king, Shabeer Siddiqui, who hit the stage to help crown his successor.
The candidates included five princes dressed in tuxedos and carrying rhinestone scepters, Emerson Dauwalder, Garrett Gomez, David Musa, Tyler Tinajero and Eduardo Vargas. Just being on the court is an honor, according to Emerson, whose accomplishments include being a CHS thespian since freshman year, serving as track captain this year and participation with ASB, among others.
“I like to spread out and try everything to see what I like,” he said.
There can be only one king, Lizzie noted, with all the drama of an accomplished CHS thespian, and this year’s is Tyler Tinahero, a member of the Wolfpack varsity football team: “The peasants have chosen you to rule at the top of the pyramid.”
Tyler would later be joined by a queen, Hannah Hoyle, who was crowned during halftime at Claremont’s homecoming game against South Hills High School.
With the rally over, it was time for the annual homecoming parade. There was lots to see, including the El Roble Marching Band and dance team as well as members of the homecoming court being driven along streets neighboring Memorial Park in eye-catching convertibles.
The centerpiece of the procession were floats created by each Claremont High School class, an endeavor that took several days to accomplish. The floats, which were built on flatbed trailers and pulled by trucks, were quite elaborate.
The freshman came in fourth with a float celebrating Claremont’s prehistoric past, complete with dinosaurs and a volcano while the juniors took third place with a rock ‘n’ roll-themed offering including the Rolling Stones’ lips-and-tongue logo, a drum kit and an oversized boom-box and cassette tapes. Fittingly, the class of 2015’s float was blasting rock classics such as “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen.
The sophomores reached unexpected heights, with their Egyptian-themed float taking second place. Winning features included glitter-topped pyramids, hieroglyphics and renderings of the jackal-headed god Anubis. The creators of each float are asked to embed a wolf somewhere in their design, a fun “Easter egg” for spectators to look for. When examined closely, this Egyptian extravaganza revealed a sphinx with a wolf’s head.
As is traditional, the seniors’ float won. The class of 2014 had engineered a creative look at Claremont’s future, where metallic skyscrapers have replaced buildings such as the Packinghouse. Claremont High School was also present on the scene, now housed in a flying saucer.
Jesse Baltazar, father of sophomore Ashtian Batlazar, said he considers the float making to be a wonderful tradition.
“I love it,” he said. “It’s a great bonding exercise, it teaches teamwork and it gets kids who normally don’t hang out together working together.”