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Homecoming memories

This year, I should have celebrated my 15 year high school reunion. It hardly seems possible that so much time has passed since I was a young teen about to embark into the world of adulthood. 

This past week, we had three area schools celebrating homecoming. To help with coverage, I found myself in Baxter at their pep rally and coronation. So many things have changed in the last decade and half, but it was nice to see some things never truly change. 

This year’s homecoming activities had to be changed because of the pandemic, true, but the spirit of homecoming was alive and well. The cheerleaders did a fantastic job pepping up the crowd. I recognized many of the cheers and was chanting along in my head, thinking about my high school days. 

When the band played the fight song, it was the same tune my high school used, so I was singing the GMG Wolverines words in my head. It was awesome to see so much pride on display for their school.

I spoke to Baxter’s King and Queen, Brad Matthews and Sophie Meyer. It was clear from both of their comments they are just trying to make the most of their senior year. Despite the pandemic and all it has changed, they still get to enjoy this milestone from their final year of high school. 

Newton’s homecoming didn’t have its parade or normal coronation celebration, but I feel like they made the most out of the day. They still honored all of the students in activities as well as staff. It proves that even in an unusual year these kids can still experience traditions and create memories that will last for years to come.

For me, I don’t really want to go back to high school. I miss the naivety of youth to a certain extent, but I have never been one that misses those years so much I want to do it all again. If I could, I would go back and give my teenage self some advice that would help her through some of the more difficult times. But I feel like I made the most of my time while it was happening. 

So as I think about those years, homecoming harbors some of the best memories for me. My alma mater is celebrating its homecoming this week. They have been utilizing Facebook Live to broadcast their activities throughout the week. 

On Tuesday, I watched the tug of war contest. This brought a flood of memories to me. When I was in school, the tug of war was always on Friday and was the last activity for classes to compete against each other to win the class trophy. It took us a year to figure things out, but our class was champions in the event for three years. When we made the finals our sophomore year against the seniors, everyone assumed we would lose — that was not the case. We ended up pulling the seniors uphill for a clear victory.

It was a coed competition, so you had to select three girls and three boys for your team. My twin sister and I were on the team all four years along with our good friend Hallie Cooper. We were throwers on the track team and Hallie was a farm girl. I may be biased, but I think we were the strongest girl group of that time. Then we had three of our football boys, Derek Kienzle, Jeremy Klinefelter and Josh Wohlman. We were unbeatable. It may be silly, but I am still super proud of that team. 

Homecoming week is a tradition. Here I am still thinking about mine like it was yesterday. I hope it can continue in high schools for a long time. I am glad this year’s students were able to make some lasting homecoming memories. 

Contact Pam Pratt at

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