A New Twist On Homecoming

Taking the spotlight off of football...

When I was in high school, homecoming was about two things, the dance and football. Sure, there were fun themes that week and other things to do, but the star of the week was always the football team and winning the big game.

One school in my area, who I have been fortunate enough to work with this year, are shifting the focus from football to their cognitively and physically impaired students for the day. Students and parents alike pack the stands to cheer everyone on as they take the field. The festivities kick off with each of the students having their names called off over the stadium's PA system as they run down the tunnel of players and cheerleaders, slapping hands along the way. Once all the students have been announced in grand fashion, a skills challenge of sorts follows where each student gets to showcase their throwing and kicking abilities while being cheered on at an almost deafening volume. The event wraps up with students getting under the offensive line for a run play that has them score the winning touchdown which, naturally, also warrants it's own celebration by each student.

Now words can't really describe the atmosphere of an event like this, especially if you're like me and have never been to one. All I can say is that the smiles on those kid's faces is a sight I won't soon forget. To see a student body come together like this, to put on an event like this where it's easy to forget you're not, in fact, at a game was truly magical. I'm not one to get overly emotional, but I was truly honored to have been asked to attend this event by the athletic director and the sheer joy on these student's face brought a tear to my eye.

I'll leave you with a small gallery of images from the day, they speak for themselves.

Currently Listening To: Spinnin by Connor Price & Bens