Overturning The Tradition of Homecoming Court


Collin Dennison, Guest Contributor

Homecoming Court: An American tradition that has been around for generations now, but for Geneva High School Student Council, it’s time for innovation.

The Homecoming Court has been replaced for the 2022 Homecoming at Geneva High School. Student Council heads have changed the event to the “Valiant Vikes Competition,” a competition among the student body of who can show the most school spirit.

“Most schools in the area are not doing Homecoming Court anymore- for a variety of reasons,” Geneva biology teacher and Student Council Executive, Emma Cole said. “One reason is that students don’t vote for it as much as they used to. So we decided it was time to freshen things up!”

Some members of the Student Council had some differing ideas on why the switch was made. Not everyone agreed that the sole reason for the change was due to a lack of interest.

“The royalty of Homecoming Court is a large expense and is not taken as seriously anymore,” Senior Student Council member Jordan Anderson said.

Mrs. Cole initiated the idea and started developing the Valiant Vikes contest because she felt that interest in Homecoming Court has been declining over the years. She saw other local schools in the area begin to implement a school spirit competition in favor of the Homecoming Court.

The student body seems to not be fully aware of the situation. Students who had first heard the concept did not believe that the court was gone. Students believed it was either a joke or that it was additional to the Homecoming Court since some students had little information on the Valiant Vikes contest.

“We had announcements, emails sent home, posters around the building, information on GTV,” she said. “But sometimes people need to see something- and now they have!”

The selection event happened two weeks prior to the Blue and White Night, an event that takes place on the Thursday night every Homecoming week, similar to a pep rally. Participants arrived at school on September 9th dressed in all-out school spirit and they were selected as the winners for the September 22nd event.

The news of the change was an even bigger shock to former alumni who had been used to the classic American high school tradition.

“As someone with high school spirit I don’t hate the idea, as it gives anyone a shot as long as you’re willing to go all out, however there’s just something really special about being voted in by your peers,” Class of 2022 Geneva Graduate and Iowa State University student, Braden Fels, said. “The feeling you get being called down to the office and getting the little sheet saying you need to get tux fitted, and then going to Blue and White Night not knowing if you win or not. Both times I won that walk from the stands down to the field and getting the crown and sash, shaking Mr. Rogers hand, and knowing your peers voted you in is a super unique experience. I overall don’t hate the change, but it will be sad seeing the homecoming king and court thing going away.”

Fels believes that the switch up could be frustrating to the senior class who have had a tumultuous high school career full of changes. He believes its just one more change the students must get accustomed to and a sense of tradition and normality is lost.

“Being in the homecoming parade my senior year was a super special moment,” he said. “I also think it could be cool for the winner of Valiant Vikes to potentially get free tickets to prom to give a good motive for people to want to participate because who doesn’t want free prom tickets.”

The idea was a little nerve racking to some of the Student Council body, especially the student members.

“I was a little nervous to try something new, but I was of course excited about it,” Anderson said.

Anderson believes that the event is good to give those who genuinely have school sprit a platform to express their pride of their school and community. The focus of the competition is to bring the school together and recognize those who love their school.

“Other students are able to shine with this spirit opportunity,” Anderson said.

Update: As of September 22nd, the winners of the Valiant Vikes contest were announced at the Blue and White Night. Among the winners are junior Stephen Danek and Senior couple Quinlan Bobezcko and Sarah Carlson.