Homecoming Week is in full roar at Chester High School, and the school just got some great news: There will be a Homecoming football game on Friday night, after all.
The Yellow Jackets were meant to play Dupo, but Dupo had to withdraw due to COVID-19 complications.
CHS Athletic Director Bryce Bainter burned up the phone lines to find an opponent and on Tuesday morning he got one - Decatur St. Teresa has agreed to make the trip to Chester to fill the void.
"Decatur St. Teresa is a good team," said CHS Head Coach Billy Belton. "They are a big 2A school. It should be a good game, possibly similar to our game against Freeburg. We look forward to playing a great Homecoming game against a challenging team!"
The Homecoming Court was announced on Friday. The 2021 Queen candidates are seniors Alex Hennrich, Hannah Blechle and Kailyn Absher and juniors Emma Eggemeyer and Paige Vasquez.
King candidates are seniors Jacob Cowell, Cooper Eggemeyer and Brock Vasquez, and juniors Chance Mott and Noah Wetzel.
The Homecoming King will be crowned at 6:30 p.m., prior to pregame activities. The Queen coronation will be held during halftime of the Homecoming game.
The theme for Homecoming 2021 is Western-oriented and the slogan is, "Take Me Home, Country Roads." Student Council Social Committee Chair Addy Mitchell said, "We have created a Homecoming theme that any ol' country boy or girl would enjoy! We are excited to rustle up a King and Queen at Friday's coronation."
Homecoming "Dress Up Days" have bee popular all week. Monday was "'Merica Monday" when students were encouraged to wear red, white and blue. Tuesday was "Timber Tuesday" when students wore flannel.
Today is "Western Wednesday," and students are walking around in western clothing. Thursday is "Class Color Day" when all students are encouraged to wear their particular class-colored clothing. Thursday is also when the CHS Spirit Games will be held, and each class competes for bragging rights.
Friday is the culmination of Homecoming Week, starting with Homecoming Court pictures to be taken at 3:15 p.m. at the Randolph County Courthouse. The 2021 Homecoming Parade will line up at 3:30 p.m. at the courthouse and the parade will kick off at 4 p.m. en route to the high school.
Homecoming is the ultimate "spirit" event, but at CHS, spirit is an ongoing thing. Sara Hammel, Student Council co-sponsor, said Student Council President Madi Krebs and her Spirit Committee have been working all year on spirit-related activities.
"Every Friday on home football game days the entire school is engaged with dress up day activities to create spirit," Hammel said. Student Council Publicity Chair Abby Bollman has been hard at work adding reminders and Homecoming promotions to the school social media pages to create interest in Homecoming 2021.
Meanwhile, there are some post-Homecoming events in the works as well. Emma Bryant and her Student Council Philanthropy Committee are planning a Red Cross Blood Drive, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27 inside Colbert Gymnasium at CHS.
Bryant said the Chester community is encouraged to sign up to donate blood, via the Red Cross website.
"Units of blood donated help save lives," Bryant said. "This activity also helps to create college scholarship opportunities for Student Council members who participate."
Bryant's committee is also working on plans and finalizing details for a "spooktacular" trick or treating event to be held on Oct. 31 at Chester High School.
Also, Trace Fricke, Student Council Extracurricular Activities Committee Chairman, and his group are prepping for a November fundraiser to help finance Homecoming and other Student Council activities.