Culminating a weeklong celebration, the student body at Riverbank High School crowned a King and Queen at halftime of the varsity football game Friday evening, Sept. 7.
The field included King candidates Julian Lopez, Seth Kendrick, Igor Ferreira Ventreschi, Preston Davidson and Carlos Gonzalez. The Queen candidates included Jenise Perryman, Gisselle Caratachea, Tawnie Denys, Nallely Murguia-Ortega, and Yaritza Rivera.
In addition to noontime and rally activities last Friday, the candidates, student groups, cheer squad, flag team and marching band all participated in a parade in downtown Riverbank.
The big event, however, was at halftime of the varsity football game that night. It was perhaps the high point of an otherwise disappointing football outing for the Bruins.
An introduction by track coach Monte Wood let the crowd know about the event’s Grand Marshal, who also led off the parade in downtown Riverbank that afternoon.
Wood said that Egidio “Jeep” Oliveira, in addition to being a graduate of RHS, had been a track and cross country runner there as a student, the holder of several long-standing school sports records.
As an adult, he said, Oliveira served several terms on the Riverbank Unified School District board, including several turns as board president.
Wood pointed out Oliveira was instrumental in both the construction of the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium, completed in 2009, and the recent installation of the new all-weather track at the stadium.
What many in the stands came to see, though, was the crowning of the new Homecoming King and Queen.
Klarissa Valadez, Homecoming Queen for 2017, as well as King Daniel Madueño, were on hand to crown this year’s recipients: 2018 Queen Gisselle Caratachea and King Igor Ventreschi. The new King had to take time out from the football game to be in the competition, rejoining the team as the second half got underway.
In all of the Homecoming Week hoopla, one thing did get overlooked. The planned Powder Puff Game, scheduled for Thursday evening, was cancelled.
A school staff member noted that, in the 25 years that she attended RHS and then worked there, there was always a Powder Puff game to go along with Homecoming.
RHS principal Dr. Sean Richey said that this year there weren’t enough girls who turned out to make the game worthwhile. He said there were plenty of freshmen and seniors, but the other classes didn’t turn out.