After a full week of planning, prepping and rehearsing, Lanai high school students enjoyed a fun-filled homecoming weekend from Feb. 2–3 with festivities based on a Broadway musical theme.
The weekend was capped off by two decisive wins against Haleakala Waldorf School in the homecoming basketball games. The Pine Lads played their hearts out and came out on top with a 58–31 score on Friday, Feb. 2 and 69–40 victory on Saturday, Feb. 3.
“Homecoming is a very big thing here on Lanai,” said Jesse James Raqueno, student body president and senior at Lanai High and Elementary School. “It’s a time when our whole school gets together as one.”
Better than Broadway
This year, the homecoming theme of Broadway musicals inspired an impressive lineup of floats and routines from Beauty and the Beast, The Sound of Music, Grease and Hairspray.
“We spend a lot of time rehearsing and working on our floats and banners, sometimes until 8 p.m.,” Raqueno explained. “It’s stressful, but we focus on having fun and making memories with each other before the school year ends and we go our separate ways.”
Each grade performed their routine at the homecoming assembly on Friday in front of a panel of judges. The seniors’ winning performance from Beauty and the Beast was selected to take part in the homecoming halftime show the following evening.
“I think our homecoming celebration is a one-of-a-kind tradition unique to Lanai — I look forward to this event every year,” said Natalie Ropa, director of LHES Foundation and a homecoming judge. “The routines were awesome, and all the students and classes did a job well done, but Gaston and Belle clinched the win for the seniors.”
Parade around the park
The homecoming celebration continued on Saturday with a parade around Dole Park.
Students showed off their class floats, designed around the same Broadway theme as their homecoming routine. Judges evaluated each class on spirit, float design and materials used.
After the parade, students gathered in a circle to sing the LHES alma mater together, and to give a round of hugs to each senior. This tradition of honoring the senior class is Raqueno’s favorite part of homecoming. “It shows how close-knit our school is and how appreciated our seniors feel.”
Seniors celebrate final homecoming
Students and community members came out in full force to support the Pine Lads and enjoy even more festivities during the homecoming basketball game.
During halftime, the homecoming court performed a choreographed dance and seniors Alika Tan and Adriana Sanchez were crowned king and queen. Then it was time for the big announcement: the homecoming winners.
Juniors took first place for class spirit, but they were no match for the class of 2018. Seniors came out on top with their Beauty and the Beast-themed performance, banner and float to win first place overall.
“It’s emotional to participate in my last homecoming,” Raqueno said. “I remember when we were just freshmen, and saying to ourselves that we had another three years. Now we’re the ones graduating, and I wish nothing but the best to all my classmates.”
Photo credit: Millena Calilao