For homecoming this year, Portales High School students are smashing cars, setting the biggest bonfire they’ve had and hosting a new alumni reception.
The PHS Student Council has activities planned most evenings this week, and each day has a theme for students to follow in how they dress, such as Zombie Day, Ram Pride Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
“A lot of kids have dressed up this year,” senior and Student Body President Elizabeth Goodwin said Monday. “This is the most I’ve seen them excited about it.”
Goodwin has been helping plan homecoming events since her freshman year.
“I do it because kids just get excited to be at school. … Everyone just gets involved,” she said, adding that homecoming is the only week when that’s the case.
Goodwin said students would hold a night pep rally, her favorite event, Monday.
During the rally, students wave glow sticks in the dark and boys model girls’ clothing. Each class receives points based on the percentage of students who dress according to the theme, and the winning class gets the new 5-foot-long spirit stick until the next pep rally, Goodwin said.
Tuesday features a dodgeball tournament between the classes, and Wednesday gives students a night off for youth group.
“And Thursday we’ll have the biggest bonfire we’ve ever had at the fairgrounds at 9 (p.m.),” Goodwin said.
Two semi-trailer loads of wood, much of it donated, will fuel the blaze, she said.
Friday, students can pay to smash cars at lunch and see the presentation of the homecoming court.
To do something for the alumni, student council sponsor William Strong led students to organize a new alumni reception with cookies, coffee and tours of the school.
“We’re trying to train (students) to think that homecoming is for the alumni who come back and visit,” Strong said.
Friday night, the Ram football team is set to play West Las Vegas High School. Senior and student council member David Clarkson said he hopes to see the team win this year, since he’s graduating.
“That would be great — to celebrate beforehand and after,” Clarkson said. “All in all, we’re expecting quite the turnout. Win or lose, people will be there.”
Soccer and volleyball games, plus the homecoming dance, round out the week on Saturday.
Strong, who has sponsored the student council for nearly five years, said homecoming is the students’ chance to have fun.
“It’s chaotic, but exciting for the kids,” he said. “It’s something they really look forward to.”