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Homecoming: High Marks
Colorful floats, a downtown parade, royalty and some hard-hitting football added up to a busy, successful Homecoming Week for Riverbank High School.

It was a victory for the juniors and sophomores on the Powder Puff field over the seniors and freshmen, Vanessa Vargas and Thomas Castillo were named Homecoming Queen and King, respectively, and there were honors for spirit points and class floats.

RHS Activities Director Christine Perez said the weekend was built around the Pixar films, with each grade level taking a movie and turning it into their float theme. Floats were displayed during the Friday afternoon parade downtown - which also featured math teacher and former longtime RHS Athletic Director Karen Adams as Grand Marshal - and winners announced at halftime of the varsity football game on Friday night.

The junior class with Monsters, Inc. as its theme was the float contest winner and the seniors earned the spirit award, accumulating the most points for participating in the dress up days, Powder Puff, lunchtime activities and float building. Other floats were the Finding Nemo theme from the freshmen, Up by the sophomores and The Incredibles by the seniors.

Also on Friday, Vanessa Vargas was selected as Homecoming Queen, escorted during the festivities by her dad, Luis Vargas.

She lists history as her favorite subject and is involved in basketball and track at RHS and pointed to her mom as one of the most inspirational people in her life.

"It feels really good," the newly crowned Queen said as family and friends in the stands cheered her selection. "It's a nice thing, for my senior year."

Homecoming King Thomas Castillo received his crown on Wednesday night during the Powder Puff game and was escorted by his mom, Maria Castillo. The 2012 King enjoys both Economics and Spanish classes at RHS and he is active in track and the dance club. He listed both his mom and dad as those most inspirational to him "because they are very supportive and helpful."

The junior/sophomore squad was victorious, 20-7, in the Powder Puff game on Wednesday over the senior/freshmen team, while both the JV and varsity football Bruins were defeated by visiting Modesto Christian in Friday night's Trans-Valley League contests.

With a big Homecoming crowd on hand Friday, family members of the late Ron Hebert, a longtime teacher and RHS coach, were asked to participate in the ceremonial coin toss at midfield to start the contest. Hebert passed away on Oct. 15, 2011 and the school community honored his memory as part of the Friday night game.