No-Co?

Homecoming Sporting Events Continue Despite Postponed Dance

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“No-Co?”

Students dressed as memes, twinning with their classmates and teachers, wearing wacky clothes, throwback outfits, and Parker spirit wear filled Zoom classes the week of September 21. Usually that week leads up to annual homecoming sports games and the homecoming dance. This year, it looked different. Like other Parker traditions, the homecoming parade was replaced with a video, and the homecoming dance was postponed. Despite the changes, cross country, golf, and tennis were still celebrated that week with games and a video. 

Tennis had their homecoming matches on September 25 against Latin. Senior captain Julia Auerbach scored 6-3, 2-6, 8-10 in her singles match. Freshman Riya Jain scored 3-6, 3-6 in her singles match. For the doubles matches, senior captain Amelia Hoerr and sophomore Caroline Skok scored 1-6, 2-6, junior Mia Bronstein and senior Aliya Spieske scored 4-6 1-6, and junior Chloe Shah and senior Lilly Satterfield scored 6-3, 4-6, 10-12.

Golf had their homecoming match on September 24 against Northridge Prep. Sophomore Henry Weil (42) and Hudson Lin (42) lead the Colonels during the homecoming match, followed by senior captain Nick Skok and junior Evan Ehrhart (45).“It was a really fun match and a great way to end my golf career at Parker,” senior Matthew Garchick said. 

Cross country had their homecoming meet on September 16 and September 30 at Lake Forest Academy. On September 16, senior Ada Collins placed second in the Girls Varsity race. “I never planned on running a cross country race for my senior year homecoming, considering I’m a field hockey captain, but it was nice to be able to participate in a sport this fall, and I’m content with the race I ran,” Collins said.

I never planned on running a cross country race for my senior year homecoming, considering I’m a field hockey captain, but it was nice to be able to participate in a sport this fall, and I’m content with the race I ran.”

— Ada Collins

Volleyball, field hockey, and boys soccer, which usually occur during the fall, have been moved to February, because those sports are categorized as higher risk by the IHSA. Cross country, golf, and tennis have been categorized as low risk. There are now four sports seasons, with fall sports broken up into two. “We have less teams right now, so the student-athletes that are part of one of our three teams are more highlighted,” Athletic Director Bobby Starks said. “We’re able to get to know those teams a little bit better than normal.”

Players are required to wear masks and social distance as much as possible. Buses have to be less than half capacity, and there cannot be any spectators at the homecoming games. “I think it’s been going as well as it can go, and I think our coaches and student-athletes have really adjusted nicely to all the new kinds of restrictions and guidelines that we have to adhere to to be able to compete and practice,” Starks said. “Having those huge changes to our normal routines is tough to adapt to, and I think our coaches and student-athletes have done a really good job.”

Having those huge changes to our normal routines is tough to adapt to, and I think our coaches and student-athletes have done a really good job.”

— Bobby Starks

Students in JK through fifth grade created posters to support the athletes. Parents were encouraged to send in videos and photos for the Homecoming video, and community members could send in photos cheering on the athletes. “No matter what, we will celebrate our student-athletes in some way,” Starks said.

The Homecoming MX was released as a video on Friday, September 25. The video featured photos from the fall athletics season, and videos of Starks and Assistant Athletic Director, Amber Scott. Coaches from the cross country, tennis, and golf teams all spoke about the season. Seniors on each team shared a video of themselves talking about their experience in the sport and playing.  

“I’m grateful we have a homecoming and that will be memorialized on video,” Head Coach of Cross Country and Track and Field Minnie Skakun said. “This is a historic sports season for our school, and Athletics has found a way to capture that.”

Unlike athletics, the dance is postponed due to social distancing restrictions. “I’m really disappointed that we can’t all be together, especially since it’s such a big thing about senior year is just spending these last moments with your school friends and the community that you’ve grown up in,” senior Emily Simon, Student Athletic Council (SAC) and Social Committee head said. 

Upper School Coordinator Rolanda Shepard and PE Teacher Pat Pagnucco have been the Social Committee sponsors for seven and almost thirty years, respectively. During their tenures as Social Committee sponsors, neither have had to cancel or postpone homecoming events. 

“When planning events and planning things to keep the student body engaged, we’ve been pushed to a different extreme, and we have to think of things that we never thought we had to think about, which I think is great because we’re not necessarily breaking traditions but maybe even creating new ones,” Simon said.

Spirit Week was moved to Zoom, with students dressing up and changing their virtual backgrounds. Freshman Benjamin Kagan won four of the days. “I chose to dress up for spirit week every day because when I was in middle school, I saw the high schoolers dressing up, and I thought that it looked very fun, so, I wanted to be a part of this incredibly cool tradition in my first year of high school,” Kagan said. “I was really excited to win because I enjoyed the time I spent choosing my outfits.”

The themes were meme Monday, twin Tuesday, wacky Wednesday, throwback Thursday, and Parker spirit Friday. Winners received $25 gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Chipotle, Grubhub, and McDonald’s. 

Though on Zoom, the Social Committee and the Athletics department were able to continue this Parker tradition.“No one has been in our situation before,” Simon said. “Hopefully we’ll create impactful things that people will want to carry out through the rest of their high school career or however long they’re at Parker.”