A 50th Homecoming to remember

Lilly Guenther, Copy Editor

On Friday, September 30, Bellefonte Area High School held its 50th annual Homecoming football game against Hollidaysburg. In addition to the game, activities included Raider Nation’s decade theme night, collection of Mini THON donations by NHS, the announcement of Homecoming royalty, and the honoring of this year’s grand marshal. 

Mrs. Christine Morris and Mr. Edward Fitzgerald took on the role of Student Council advisors this year, putting the pair in charge of arranging Homecoming events, including the parade, rallies, game, and dance, as well as spirit days and other activities throughout the week. 

Mrs. Morris was glad to be involved in recognizing the 50th year of Homecoming at BAHS. 

This was our first foray into planning for this incredible tradition…We are so excited that BAHS has been able to celebrate our student success with the community in the past 50 years. We wanted to make sure that in all of our plans we embodied pride, tradition, and excellence that has been a part of our school’s history for more than 50 years,” she said. 

Coach and Woodworking teacher Mr. Vaughn Donmoyer manages the BAHS football team. He believes that the players put in effort in their preparation for the game.

“The team prepared for the Homecoming game against Hollidaysburg with focus and intensity all throughout the week leading up to the game,” he said. 

Though the week leading up to the game was not without its difficulties, Mr. Donmoyer believes that the players responded effectively to the adjustments that were needed. 

“We had some injuries occur during the week that allowed other players the opportunity to step up for the team. I thought the team responded well to those challenges,” he said. 

The team began the game well, holding off the majority of offensive plays from 

Hollidaysburg throughout the first half. 

Junior Trevor Johnson remarked that he went into the game with a positive attitude.

“We prepared all week…I felt really good going into the game,” he said. 

Junior Grady Garrison went into the game with high expectations. 

“I treated it like any other game and just told myself it was a winnable game if we play 

hard…Going into the game I felt as if our defense was going to have to step up and play a big role,” he said. 

Mr. Donmoyer agreed with these sentiments, and believes that the team demonstrated 

their skill throughout the first half of the game.

“The team felt pretty confident going into the game…They [Hollidaysburg] played some 

tough competition. The team knew that they needed to play a whole game, limit mistakes and penalties…The team’s biggest strength was their ability to play solid defense for the first half of the game,” he said. 

At halftime, Homecoming royalty was announced. Homecoming court and eventual winners are chosen by the BAHS student body. Seniors Davis Corman and Ruby Bjalme were named this year’s Homecoming King and Queen. 

The pair chose to run for both enjoyment and to be part of a school tradition. 

“Ruby and I saw it as an opportunity to get involved with the school and thought it would be a fun thing to do,” Davis said. 

They put a lot of work into preparation for the voting, including making posters, posting to their respective social medias, and planning their show for the senior lip sync competition that was held between those running for Homecoming court during Monday’s pep rally. But, this did not prevent tense anticipation. 

“I was definitely nervous going into the announcement. I knew we did everything we could, but the question of whether it was enough got me excited. When they announced us as winners I was ecstatic,” Davis said. 

Ruby feels similarly, and is thankful towards those who supported and voted for her.

“I’m grateful for all the support and love within our school that I personally got to feel. It’s so crazy to think about all of the people who voted that I don’t even personally know,” she said. 

In addition to the announcement of Homecoming court, grand marshal is traditionally recognized at the Homecoming game. This year’s grand marshal was Miss Jennifer Burdsall (Richardson), who taught English for over 20 years at BAHS before retiring at the end of last year.

Many people within the Bellefonte community know and love Miss Richardson, making her an understandable choice for the dedication. 

“We honored a former teacher as our grand marshal…We wanted to recognize an individual who has given back to our community,” Mrs. Morris said. 

Although Bellefonte ultimately lost the game, enthusiasm and effort were seemingly not in short supply. Mr. Donmoyer believes that the team maintained their hard work throughout the game. 

“Another strength of the team was their relentless pursuit to strive for victory. Even when the game seemed out of hand, the athletes continued to do their jobs,” he said. 

Trevor agrees that the group played not as not individuals put on the field together, but as a team. 

“We stuck together throughout the game and worked as a team to play the best we could,” he said. 

Mrs. Morris believes that Homecoming is not only about the game, but about the unity of a community in a common recognition and celebration. 

“The community and student support has been the best part of all the events. It was incredible to see the community and Raider Nation supporting and cheering for everyone involved,” she said.