Raptors Come Home to a Sweet Surprise


HOMECOMING COURT: Students watch as student council prepares to announce the homecoming king and queens. This year’s senior homecoming court was Andy Wang and Claire Prairie. Photo by JC Ramirez Delgadillo

Charlotte Whalen, Staffer

The homecoming dance and the week leading up to it has always been filled with various traditions and the participation of most of the student body. This year’s dance, organized by the student council, was characterized by colorful decorations, a crowded dance floor, and an outdoor courtyard filled with students cooling off or playing board games.

According to senior student council president Sam Church, the council has been brainstorming ideas and establishing a budget for the event since the summer. This year’s homecoming theme was Candyland.

“We went around and asked members of our class for ideas for the theme,” Church said. “Once we had a long list, we discussed ideas as a council and voted on our top three.” 

Junior student representative Travis Edwards was especially excited for this year’s decorations. He anticipated many aspects of the dance to remain the same as previous years, even though the themes are different, such as a photo backdrop, crafted out of a pipe and hanging drape. 

“We might set up the cafeteria with the pipe and drape, like last year,” Edwards said, referencing the curtains set up in the cafeteria. “We might replicate how that was used as the dance floor and then there were centerpieces on the tables. We thought that had kind of a nice aesthetic, and this year instead of having those centerpieces from last year, we’re going to have something more candyland related.”

The homecoming dance always has a different theme and atmosphere every year. This year, Travis was excited to apply the candyland theme to plans for the event.

“It’ll just have a different feel, with the theme being candyland, which I’m excited about,” Edwards said, “but we also want to make sure since it seemed like homecoming was very positive, and generally people had a very good time. We wanted to make sure to try to emulate the things we did last year, but apply them in a new way.”

The cafeteria and courtyard were decorated with colorful fairy lights and other candyland-themed decorations, such as construction paper cutouts. According to Edwards, the theme was largely chosen because the decorations would be practical and easy to execute.

 “We thought it was a nice fun theme that we thought also had many neat ideas for decorations that we could do,” Edwards said. “We thought that we could try and design them ourselves, which is always a benefit to try and be economical with doing these things because money always is one thing that we have to keep in mind. And so we wanted to find a way to make sure that we’re giving something that’s very enjoyable but also happens to be economic.”

​​This year, homecoming tickets were either $15 if purchased in advance or $20 if purchased within. The student council uses all of the proceeds from the event to create bigger and better events, according to Edwards.

“It goes to all sorts of things, like renting equipment like the pipe and drape used to help decorate and transform the cafeteria into the dance floor area,” Edwards said. “And the money provides the food and the drinks; it also pays for the lighting. Without the money we raised it wouldn’t be nearly the same experience. ” 

In addition to continuing the homecoming dance tradition, various other LASA traditions happened throughout the week. These traditions included spirit week, the gallon challenge, and the homecoming football game.

“We will of course continue having our HoCo court announced at both the game and the dance,” Church said. “Additionally, things like photo booths, free food, and more will all be returning. Any surprises will be revealed at the dance.”

The homecoming celebration is often a week-long event to boost school spirit and camaraderie among the classes with the big dance at the end of the week. LASA has also incorporated the Texas tradition of mums, an arrangement of ribbons, bells or charms worn around the neck during homecoming, this year. According to sophomore cheer captain Sofia Neal, mums are a tradition that many Texas high schools take part in. 

“Students create a beautiful, ribbon-filled mum or garter and wear it the day of the homecoming football game,” Neal said. “Typically the girl gives her date one of them, but anyone can have one. The reason we started selling mums this year was to try and influence the school to create more traditions and do something that could be enjoyable for students.” 

In addition to making mums, the cheer team and student council collaborated to come up with ideas for spirit week. Every day of the week, students dressed up for various themes which included business casual Monday day, Tropical Tuesday, Western Wednesday, Adam Sandler Thursday, and ended the week with dressing up in school spirit. According to junior student council president Wendy Geng, the student body really engaged with outlandish hairstyles, accessories, and clothing for spirit week. 

“Spirit week was pretty sick,” Geng said. “The Adam Sandler outfits were some of my favorites, and I think the student body did a great job following the themed days.”

Last year’s homecoming was some  students’ first homecoming dance since  COVID-19. According to Geng, the student council tried to make this year’s dance as successful as last year’s.

“I think the dance was pretty successful in terms of what the student council could control,” Geng said. “We had a lot to live up to from last year… but overall I think all in all it went much smoother than what we thought it would be like.”