Irish wrap up another successful Homecoming

Villegas and Sanders are voted king and queen


Nicholas Rodecap

At Arlington Middle School on Sept. 24, the sun sets on the Homecoming crowd.

Nicholas Rodecap

As September draws to a close, so too does another year of Homecoming festivities on the Hill, with a much-needed return to semi-normalcy characterized by hall decorating, fundraising, dancing and the crowning of this year’s Homecoming king and queen, senior Gael Villegas and senior Reese Sanders. 

“Cathedral is back,” said Student Council president senior Nick Bozelli-Levine. “We did what we could last year, given the circumstances. Last year was definitely a success, but in comparison, this year has been much better. A lot of the things we didn’t have last year like the dance, the pep assembly and hall decorating — last year we had the parking spots — it’s not the same without those things. They all add up to something really special.”

Senior Class President and Homecoming queen Reese Sanders echoed this sentiment. She said, “(Last year) we still had a great Homecoming Week. But I also say having a close-to-normal Homecoming week, which included hallway decorating inside, a dance, some powderpuff and an assembly with all the activities has been awesome. I’ve seen such an increase in participation this year and it makes me so happy,” she said.

The biggest highlights of Homecoming this year were the seniors barely defeating the freshmen for the spirit stick and Villegas winning the title of Homecoming king. Several members of the Senior Class began a campaign to elect Villegas to the Homecoming court via social media, and the campaign took off quickly. Villegas was elected to the court and, upon his announcement at the pep assembly on Sept. 24, the Senior Class erupted in cheers, chanting his name.

At halftime at the football game on Sept, 24, the student section let out deafening applause when he was introduced by Mr. Greg Bamrick. The writing was on the wall: This would be an underdog story for the ages. Villegas was elected Homecoming king over two football players and one of the leprechauns, and it was clear that he was the people’s choice.

Compared to pre-pandemic Homecoming, Bozelli-Levine said that this year’s activities represented about 90% of what 2019 and before looked like. “We’ve done so much over the past month and a half. We put a lot of thought and care into this, not only trying to bring back what was there but trying to go above and beyond as well,” he said. 

Sanders said her final Homecoming has been one of her favorites. “Before Covid-19, I wasn’t really as involved in all the festivities. Now I’ve learned to take it all in and celebrate it all,” she said.

This year’s festivities also brought changes that could continue in the future, in particular, having the dance take place outside as opposed to crowding people inside the Shiel Student Life Center. “It’s in the evening and, when (there is) good weather, it will be nice to do that kind of thing outside instead of being stuffed in an enclosed area,” Bozelli-Levine said. 

Bozelli-Levine and Sanders both added that they were especially proud of the Senior Class and their participation in the activities throughout the week. Bozelli-Levine said, “(The seniors) have done an awesome job dressing up, helping out with hall decorating and participating in the activities during (Homecoming) week.” 

“I feel like (the seniors have) really taken a step up and shown the other classes what Homecoming on the Hill is all about,” Sanders said.  

Bozelli-Levine said he’s sure that as they continue their time on the Hill, underclassmen will get out of their shells and learn to have fun, enjoy themselves, dress up and not be scared to show off who they are.

Bozelli-Levine offered future advice for underclassmen who may have been a bit shy about Homecoming. “If you didn’t (participate) this year, next Homecoming don’t be afraid to participate and have fun. Dress up, support your class with hall decorating, come to the dance and go to the football game. If not to just get points for (the spirit stick), just do it to have fun and enjoy it while you can. You only get four chances, and it would be a pity to waste them.”