Riverbank High School celebrated fall homecoming with a week filled with a variety of activities and traditions. RHS Education Specialist, Melissa Werner, Leadership Advisor Ray Perez, and the leadership class had a busy but successful week. It was capped off with the naming of Alex Nisperos as Homecoming King and Alyssandra Urrea as Homecoming Queen during halftime festivities at the Sept. 16 varsity football game.
“Our goal is always to build on the successes of the year previous, and we were able to accomplish that again this year,” said RHS Principal Greg Diaz. “Leadership Advisor, Ray Perez, and his students worked really hard getting Spirit Week together this year with dress-up days, lunchtime activities, the Powder Puff game, and the Homecoming Rally, all of which turned out amazing.”
During the week students were asked to show their school spirit by wearing specific gear or colors. The students accrued spirit points for their participation in the dress days and floats in the parade. The senior class won the spirit trophy for the second year in a row.
“The Leadership class really impressed me,” stated Perez. “I was really proud of them. They stepped up this week. One of my Leadership students, Leticia Diaz did a great job in bringing the students together to help organize the rally. The goal is to always have it student led and they did just that.”
The homecoming rally stirred up excitement through all classes, teachers, and staff. Leticia and Julian Castellanos were the master of ceremonies for the rally. There was music performed by the band and flag team, a routine by the cheerleaders, and a cheering contest between classes.
They also had a scavenger hunt and a live human version of the Hungry Hippo game.
The Royal Court was introduced during the rally and they played musical chairs and a balloon game.
“The rally committee organized and implemented the games that took place with the students and Royalty and I’m extremely proud of them for that,” noted Perez. “Overall, I was very happy with how this year’s fall homecoming turned out. I was very happy with the participation on spirit days, rally, and floats.”
On Thursday night RHS was out in full effect for the Powder Puff game that filled the stands and brought out some homecoming buzz.
Sophomore Chantel Andalon, shared: “I really enjoyed Powder Puff because I love competing against the other grades since I’m a sophomore. The guys cheerleading is really funny. Everyone seems to have a good time. It’s a great experience for both the boys and girls.”
“One of my favorite parts of homecoming was the Powder Puff game,” said sophomore Avah Luu. “Everyone put full effort and really enjoyed the game overall. There were many supporters who came and loved the energy on the field.”
Riverbank Unified School District Superintendent Christine Facella was selected as this year’s Grand Marshal for the homecoming parade on Friday. She will be retiring at the end of the school year.
“I was honored to be the Grand Marshal of the parade,” expressed Facella. “Of all positions I have ever held in education, being principal at RHS was my favorite so this opportunity was very special to me. I visited the making of the floats during the week and thought they all did a good job.”
According to Perez there is a challenge each year of student participation for the float construction but also each year the students step up and get it done.
On Friday afternoon, Cardozo Middle School students lined Santa Fe Street with excitement to see the parade, along with local families and community members.
“My favorite part of homecoming is the parade because we got to see the whole city come out,” said senior Cristian Fuentes.
The Sheriff’s vehicle led the way, the Grand Marshal followed, then Royalty, the band and flag team performed, the cheerleaders strutted down, the Bruins football team, the drama club, skills USA team, and then the class floats.
Werner was instrumental in organizing and implementing a successful parade this year. Each class had a float that they decorated during the week. Perez shared that Werner did an amazing job and that he was very thankful to the class advisors for their hard work on the floats.
“Honestly, the parade on Friday afternoon was the best one I have been a part of yet in my time at RHS,” remarked Diaz. “Melissa Werner, RHS Education Specialist, spearheaded the event and her efforts resulted in a great parade. I cannot thank her enough for all her hard work, and I can’t wait to see next year’s parade.”
The Juniors had the winning float in the parade that was judged by District Office staff.
“I really enjoyed the announcement of the winners of the King and Queen,” said senior Juliana Rodriguez. I liked it because it gets everyone hyped up and everyone gets excited.”
Freshman Victoria Barragan-Garcia concurred that it was her favorite part of the festivities as well.
Homecoming week wrapped with Friday night lights and the crowning of the King and Queen.
Diaz said, “Finding resources for all the events, especially the floats, is always a challenge. There are a lot of moving parts to make the week happen, but we have a great group of staff, students, and parents that always seem to overcome any challenges—they did exactly that again this year.”