Central HoCo 2021 cause for celebration

After pandemic canceled last year's events, students ready to enjoy iconic experience


Last updated 9/29/2021 at 1:52pm | View PDF

Jim Slonoff

The announcement of the 2021 Homecoming Court was one of the highlight's of Monday afternoon's pep rally, which was held outdoors on Dickinson Field. With COVID-19 still a concern, Friday's pep rally and Saturday night's dance will be held outdoors as well. (Jim Slonoff photos)

Hinsdale Central Homecoming 2021 is simultaneously celebrating the past and looking to the future.

Homecoming week, whose theme is "Dancing through the Decades," features a number of firsts, including an outdoor pep rally Monday afternoon on Dickinson Field.

"I thought it worked really well," said Maurice Tobiano, co-president of Varsity Club, which plans the event. "It was a little hot, obviously, but I thought it worked well because it allowed students to be comfortable considering the COVID circumstances and everything.

"It was still fun," she added. "We got to see the band perform. We got to see the pommers. It was a good change, considering the circumstances."

The pep rally included a nice surprise for Tobiano, who was named to the homecoming court with 29 other seniors.

"I honestly was not expecting it at all," she said. "I'm really honored that the students voted for me."

Another first this year is a Friday night football game.

"Our first (Friday night homecoming game) was supposed to be two years ago, and it ended up getting rained out, so we had to move it to Saturday," Central activities director Sally Phillip said. "Last year we didn't have it, so this is our first time. It's kind of cool."

Trying to do everything on Saturday - from the parade to the game to the dance - made for a long day for students, she said. The new schedule also provides two nights of fun for teens.

"Kids love Friday night football," Phillip added. "It's so fun."

Between the Monday pep rally and the game, Red Devils could participate in a variety of activities, from themed dress-up days to the girls powder puff football game Tuesday night to another outdoor pep rally Friday afternoon.

"I'm really excited for the 2000s day, because we're dressing up as our middle school selves," Tobiano said. "I went to a private school in middle school, so I'm going to be wearing a middle school uniform."

Saturday night's dance will be outdoors, as well.

"I think students are pretty excited for it," Tobiano said. "I think at first people were a little worried - what will happen if it rains? The weather is supposed to be really good."

The added space Dickinson Field provides will allow room for new activities like glow-in-the-dark mini golf and a 30-person foosball table. An ice cream truck and possibly some other food trucks will be on hand, too, Phillip said.

One area of the field will be set aside for dancing to music provided by a DJ.

"There have been a lot of changes this year, obviously, but I think the entire school has done really well in being flexible and adapting to things," Tobiano said.

Watching last year's seniors miss out on homecoming altogether gives this year's event added significance, Tobiano and Phillip agreed.

"We're just really excited that we get to do this," Phillip said. "It might not look exactly how it's been done in the past, but we get something, and I'm so thankful that we get to have our kids here and experience something and be part of our school and our culture. Homecoming is a really cool week. It's about our whole school and our school spirit and everybody coming together."

Tobiano noted that freshmen and sophomores - about half the school - has never had the chance to participate in homecoming or event attend a pep rally.

"I will take this any day over nothing at all," Tobiano said. "The grade last year didn't get anything. We're getting 100 times more. For me personally, I will take whatever we can get. You only get one senior year."

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean


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