Homecoming offers a week of amusement

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, September 27, 2011

By JASON MAYFIELD / Guest Columnist

My middle school’s football team may not finish first in everything this year, but I do believe that, thanks to hard work, planning and organization, we likely pulled off the earliest homecoming in recent history.

Homecoming has deep roots. Cain and Abel from the Genesis account likely began the tradition by returning to Euphrates or Tigris High School (this after they were expelled from Eden Academy). Of course, the two surely dropped off their laundry for their mother, Eve, before returning as successful alumni.

Colleges, churches and, yes, middle schools (at least ours — although, I’m still not sure who returns to a middle school) all get in on the fun. At Columbiana, the week traditionally starts with “Camo Day,” the one day our hunters come aptly dressed out of the school year. The next day, in a complete reversal, the school hosts “Hippie Day.” For those of you who lived through the 1960s and 1970s, never fear, we follow this day with “Drug Awareness Week” two weeks later.

After “Danny Devito-Arnold Schwarzenegger Day” — or as it’s commonly known, “Twin Day,” the day of the game comes and the drama of dressing to a correct theme gives way to the climactic moment: the pep rally. If you think there’s stress announcing a middle school football game, please know the real stress involves the announcement of homecoming court — a court with a family set to record its baby’s moment in her shiny new pageant dress — a moment ruined when the announcer mistakenly butchers her name, hobbies and interests.

At least for this announcer, it’s much easier to get the script for the court correct the second time around — at halftime of the game. Not that I attempt to play favorites, but I do enjoy when a football player is selected to the court. The player must finish the first half, hope that he’s not too muddy, meet briefly with the team at the goal posts, and then sprint to midfield to escort a representative ­— and remember not to tackle her.

With all the opportunities for fun that go unscripted, no wonder we keep alumni coming back year after year.

Jason Mayfield is a gifted instructor at Columbiana Middle School.