50 years worth of Viking memories
They dress outlandishly, express themselves artistically, cheer on their favorite football team and shake it well into Saturday night.
But South Tahoe High School’s homecoming is much more than Saturday’s football games. Homecoming is a great excuse for alums to renew acquaintances from their graduating classes.
“When you’re in high school you don’t realize the people coming back watching games. That’s what homecoming games are all about,” said STHS Athletic Director Don Borges, a Viking football player who graduated in 1970. “When you’re getting ready for the game, building floats and attending rallies, what you don’t realize is all the people coming back to homecoming to see the different people who used to be part of South Tahoe High School.”
They have plenty to celebrate since South Tahoe has reached its Gold-n-Blue 50th anniversary.
“It means a lot to me as a 1977 graduate, but homecoming’s always been important,” said Bob Grant, the school’s activities director. “Last year, there was a luncheon for some of the alumni after the football game and we got to see people all the way back from 1960 and a couple of people from the 1950s. It’s nice to see old friends and nice to keep up the Viking spirit.”
While the focus is South Tahoe’s division clashes with North Valleys at 10:45 a.m. (JV) and 1:30 p.m. (varsity), there are a cache of activities throughout the week that improve the overall spirit of the school.
South Tahoe kept its homecoming week hopping with a series of themed dress-up days. Students began the week dressing up like teenagers from the 50s and 60s, changed into their cowboy duds, then wore their patriotic colors before donning their favorite colors — blue and gold.
Throughout the week, students also prepared floats for a parade down Lake Tahoe Boulevard on Saturday at 8 a.m. before they are showcased at the football game’s halftime show. Unlike past years where the emphasis has been a friendly competition between the four different classes, Grant has promoted unity.
“Because it’s the 50th anniversary, we decided to do something inclusive of pulling everybody together,” Grant said. “We want to reinstitute Viking spirit and make sure that the kids have spirit in their school.”
A homecoming victory for STHS would trigger a bigger celebration than normal because the Vikings are trying to break a 15-game losing streak. Viking junior Justin McIntyre said homecoming week isn’t a distraction to the task on the field.
“It just psyches us up even more, knowing the school is behind you and everything,” McIntyre said. “It’s the best feeling in the world because we have double the fans and about half the school is there.”
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