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CHS Homecoming becomes fun-filled weekend

From the homecoming rally at Memorial Park last Friday to the CHS All-Class Reunion on Saturday, this year’s Claremont High School homecoming festivities created lasting memories for so many people.

Claremont’s homecoming royalty

CHS senior Raam Ravi was selected as the 2011 homecoming king during the homecoming rally on Friday when he struck a box above his head with a scepter and gold confetti sprinkled down upon him. The prince court also consisted of Chris Collins, Justin Shen, Jack Shih and Pranay Yeturu.

“I feel really great that I won,” Raam said just minutes after winning the crown. “Homecoming to me means having fun, enjoying yourself and hanging out with friends. I feel excited.”

Raam is well known by his peers because of his friendly and outgoing personality. The homecoming king has taken a proactive approach towards getting to know other students.

“I think it’s good to know people,” Raam explained. “It’s important to just go up to people, talk to them and get to know them.”

A few hours later at the CHS football stadium, Kristina Leopold was revealed as this year’s homecoming queen. This year’s princess court included Erin Black, Danielle Hepperle, Madison Keyser and Taylor Scott.

The announcement took CHS senior by surprise.

“I was shocked. It was very unexpected and I was very surprised,” Kristina said. “At first I didn’t think it was me. Then I looked a little harder and saw that it definitely was my face [on the poster]. It’s so unreal—to me it means a lot that I won because I don’t think I’m the typical teenager. I don’t do Facebook and I don’t party. It was cool that the other students honored me for me.”

Kristina said becoming homecoming queen was more special due to her grandfather, John Mann, being a former CHS principal and her mother and uncle being CHS alumni.

“My mom stood in shock with the camera in her hand and ended up not taking any pictures,” Kristina said. “My grandpa cried and my dad was completely shocked. It was a collective sense of surprise and very surreal.”

Seniors awarded first place in float contest 

Before the homecoming parade, the Class of 2012 was awarded with the best float in a contest that took on a videogame theme. The senior class created a Super Mario Bros. themed float that included a stuffed Mario doll, a fire flower that rose up and down inside a pot, green 1-up mushroom, a Mario kart racer, the Chain Chomp character and a racetrack canvas.

“We just took different things from [Super] Mario [Bros.] and put them together,” said Annie Chen, the float’s main designer. “I was very pleased with the way that it came out.”

The juniors created a Pokemon themed float complete with main character Ash Ketchum dressed up as a CHS football player and his Pokemon sidekick Pikachu. The sophomore class took 2nd place with a float dedicated to Ms. Pac-Man that included the ghosts, dots made out of styrofoam and a constructed maze from the popular video game. The freshman class used Donkey Kong as its inspiration with a rendition of the popular ape character along with ladders made from PVC tubes and barrels.

The 4 groups put in more than 20 hours on their projects with parents also joining in to help create the floats. CHS senior Ali Boos said that having seniors win the float contest for the last few years put more pressure on this year’s senior class.

“It feels nerve wracking and you don’t want to lose because every year, the seniors have always won,” Ali said. “So it makes us as seniors work hard so that we don’t lose.”

Celebrating a century of CHS history 

Approximately 240 current CHS students and alumni participated in Saturday’s All-Class Reunion at Casa de Salsa. The event attracted alumni from as far back as the Class of 1941.

CHS Wolfpack Alumni Society founder Sharon Esterley, a member of the Class of 1961, set up a display at the event that spotlighted 100 years of history at CHS. She referred to the reunion as a “success.”

“We had a ball,” Ms. Esterley said. “We had people there from the Class of 1941 all the way up to 2011 and everybody in between. It was cool to see that the alumni not only came with their friends from their own classes but were also connecting with the younger siblings of their classmates.”

CHS alumni were invited to participate in nearly all aspects of homecoming. An estimated 30 alumni were in the homecoming parade, some took part in a welcome reception at CHS following the parade and a section in the bleachers and a booth were reserved for alumni during the CHS homecoming football game. The reunion at Casa de Salsa concluded 2 days of reconnecting and reminiscing.

“Everybody wants to do it again next year and so I’m going to be putting out a survey on our website,” Ms. Esterley said. “It was amazing.” 

—Landus Rigsby

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