By Lisi Burciaga and Anna Weier, Staff Writers
// Acalanes is halfway through Homecoming Week and student spirit and participation are high in the hopes of securing the Homecoming Spirit Cup for their classes. The dress up theme for the day was similar to a school-wide pajama party in which students were encouraged to come to school clad in their comfiest sweats and slippers with blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals by their side. The dress up activity was cleverly entitled “Road Trip” which pertains to this year’s theme “All Roads Lead to Acalanes”.
As everyone filed on to campus Tuesday morning, those who did not participate in the hallway decorating the day before strolled the halls, marveling at the creative and artistic ways in which the students from different classes celebrated their class theme.
Among the many admirers was freshman Helena Holmberg, sporting sweatpants and a fluffy blanket, who shared her thoughts on day one of her first High School homecoming.
“It looks pretty nice! Especially the freshman, the decorating looks really awesome. It’s a lot cooler than I expected” Holmberg said.
At lunch, a french fry eating contest took place in the Front Quad. First, only staff competed against each other, followed by another competition exclusively between students.
The staff competition took place first, with Mr. Benham-Baker, Mrs. Anderson, and Mrs. Allen as the three competitors. After a riveting match, Mrs. Anderson came out as the winner.
“I feel really satisfied and excited that I could be here and support Acalanes during Homecoming and win this competition!” Anderson said following her win. “I really appreciate when students invite us [teachers] to things. I really appreciate being included in the activities.”
Though new teacher Mr. Benham-Baker didn’t win his first homecoming activity at Acalanes, he had the same positive feeling as Anderson, ending the game with a smile.
“I think it’s great to have competitions like this in good fun and have teachers competing alongside students,” Benham-Baker said. “It’s a different atmosphere than in the classroom so it’s good for building a community.”
Following the battle between the teachers, the tension between the student participants heightened. Competing were freshman Liam Varela, sophomore Nell Kessenich, junior Isaac Douglas, and senior Kevin McConnell. Despite many students expecting McConnell to be the obvious winner, as he stuffed his mouth with fries at a much faster pace than his competitors, Douglas came through in the end with the win.
At the end of the school day, many students were under the impression that the final bell marked the end of festivities for Day One of Homecoming Week. However, Leadership students reminded their peers of the Acalanes tailgate later that night that would lead up to a riveting dodge ball match between the various classes.
The juniors and sophomores went head to head in the first round, with sophomores prevailing as the champions. Next up, the freshmen bravely took on their sizable opponents, the seniors. Though, to everyone’s surprise, the freshman beat their adversaries.
“I thought [the seniors] were going to be better, but I guess not! They were bigger, but we had more heart,” said freshman player Ishaan Saha. “I thought the game was pretty fun. There was a good level of team cooperation and we all worked our tails off. It was fantastic!”
Next up, in a battle of the upperclassmen, the juniors took on the seniors. With the help of a cheering crowd, the juniors were able to defeat the seniors, elated for beating their only student superiors at this school.
“The school spirit and pride here at Acalanes, I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Benham-Baker in reference to his first AHS Homecoming. “I’m walking around and I’m looking at the halls and I know kids were here on a holiday putting together these amazing hallway decorations. I’ve really never seen anything quite like it.”