Behind the scenes at homecoming

Keri Ross, shows her split allegiance at the PHS homecoming powderpuff football game. (Contributed)

Keri Ross, shows her split allegiance at the PHS homecoming powderpuff football game. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist
Staging a Pelham High School Homecoming is like orchestrating a Broadway play—at a different venue, with varied plot lines and new casts every night. The stars are the students, multitude of them who return annually for their favorite events, excited to be another year older, with all the rites of homecoming that a new year brings.
Wednesday evening’s women’s competitive events aside, PHS students are all about homecoming fun. Wednesday is fun also—but the class rivalries become a bit intense. Discussions about the legalities of kickball between the freshmen and sophomore class digress to the comical during the annual freshmen/sophomore kickball competition.
“Seriously, is there a National Kickball Federation official rule list?” shouts a freshman.
“Very probably!” answers an indignant sophomore.
This mostly good-natured banter leads to the junior/senior women’s powder puff football game. Those who teach multiple grades are questioned for allegiance.
In addition to working with SGA co-sponsor Emily Murray and the SGA officers to host homecoming events, organize teacher volunteers and door decoration contests, schedule security and firefighters for the bonfire, order T-shirts, supervise, celebrate and chastise, Pelham Math Department Chair Keri Ross has a unique way of showing her support for both juniors and seniors.
“I didn’t know if I had the energy this year,” Ross said. Her son, Patrick, urged her to keep up the tradition.
“Come on mom, you have to do it. I know you’re tired. I’ll help,” Patrick said.
Mother and son, with a hot iron and fabric tape made two shirts one allowing Ross to proudly declare support for all of her students playing powder-puff football—both juniors and seniors. With a half junior pink powder-puff shirt and half senior black shirt, Ross straddles the fence.
“The kids love my combo shirt,” Ross said.
Friday night, Ross and Murray supervise the crowning of the homecoming court. Afterward, these exhausted teachers will venture home after a week of homecoming activities to get reacquainted with their husbands and children.
They’ll leave Saturday night’s homecoming dance to other teachers crazy enough to orchestrate that event.
PHS Homecoming tradition continues.