A Postponed Game: Air Quality to Blame

Summing up homecoming.

Taila Lee, Staff Writer

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Due to poor air quality, Woodside postponed this year’s October homecoming football game to Thursday, November 9, disappointing students and interrupting the week’s schedule.

Woodside’s lively homecoming week involves a variety of spirit days, a school-wide homecoming rally, a home football game, and an evening dance.  However, smoke from the Santa Rosa fires affected air quality at Woodside and led to the cancellation of all outdoor events, including the homecoming football game.

Student Activities director Leslie With described what happened behind the scenes, as staff decided to postpone the highly-anticipated football game against South San Francisco High School and other outdoor activities.

“It was tough,” With stated.  “I was very proud of how the students handled it because I think everyone understood why [we had to postpone the game]… [we also had to] move all of the outside activities into the gym, [including] the senior quad count… The main thing that got changed was… this whole relay BOSA planned out; we had to cancel that… Then band, cheer, and dance also have a big halftime routine at the homecoming game. So we had to postpone their routine; so they’re going to be doing it at the M.A. game.  And then the senior run had to be postponed.”

With briefly mentioned how Woodside’s homecoming week affects staff as much as students.

“There are staff members who get involved and who like to dress up and get into the spirit,” With noted.  “It also affects staff because it’s a spirited week, and the kids are all into it, [which] sometimes ripples into the classroom.”

Looking towards the future, With described next year’s homecoming agenda.

“I think we’re going to stick with the same [plan],” With claimed.  “The change from last year to this year was really the halftime [routine] at the football game… last year we did a… class run with a banner.  That had very mixed reviews, so we changed this year to flags and a little relay competition with the grade levels… Even though we didn’t get to do that [because of the air quality, students] liked making the flags, and they would like to do the relay race next year.”

Freshman Sophia Bogyo said that she and many others had been planning to attend the game.

“People were really disappointed,” Boygo said, “because [the game] is one of the highlights of homecoming week, but it was okay… because we still had a bunch of activities.”

Despite the smoke issues, students still competed for spirit points throughout the week and enjoyed the homecoming rally and dance.

Bogyo added, “I think we can improve homecoming by maybe decorating the gym better [and playing] more popular songs.  But I liked the spirit pep rallies; they were really fun.”

Sophomore Yahaira Chavez also planned to attend the homecoming game.

“I know many people were really excited and looking forward to going to the game, including myself,” Chavez stated.  “Although it was cancelled, homecoming week was still fun and exciting.”

Chavez additionally commented on the homecoming dance and how it compared to that of her freshman year.

“I really like homecoming this year!” Chavez said enthusiastically.  “It was really fun, and what I liked about it was that I got to make new friends as everybody in different grades talked and danced with each other… I also went last year, and both dances were great… From what I remember, I think this year’s dance had better music.”

Junior Adrian Reitmaier compared this year’s homecoming dance to last year’s.

“I went to homecoming [this year] because I went as a sophomore for the first time, and it was really fun.” Reitmaier described.  “A lot of my friends were going, [and] we were doing a before party… I think it was the same kind of dark gym with the music, and the decorations were really nice.  It was on the same level as last year.  [This year] I was planning to go to the football game, but I wasn’t particularly affected by [its postponement].”

Chavez remarked on homecoming week’s overall effect on the Woodside community.

“It was… fun to see most of the school participate and dress up differently… Homecoming gives Woodside students a break from school.  It gives us a chance to enjoy a dance together and have a fun week.  We spend the entire week excited and looking forward to this event… It also creates a positive and fun energy at school.”

Reitmaier reflected on homecoming’s effect on Woodside as a whole.

“I think [homecoming] brings everyone together,” Reitmaier concluded.  “It makes you feel more part of the school and part of your grade level.”

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