Goody gumdrops: WEGO is entering the Candy Castle for Homecoming 2022


Homecoming week themes all have to do with Candyland this year at WEGO.

By Sasha Baumgartner, Editor

West Chicago Community High School’s Homecoming is in the works and will be full of “sweet” activities, including a parade, football match-up against Fenton High School and a dance. The annual tradition is scheduled for the weekend of September 16-17 and is centered around a Candyland theme selected by this year’s Student Council. In just a short time, WEGO will be traipsing through the Molasses Swamp, working its way toward Candy Castle: every Homecoming event will have some sort of colorful or candy meaning behind it.

Since the beginning of the school year, WCCHS’ Student Council, along with Pep Club, have been preparing for Homecoming, which is being held earlier than usual this year.

Homecoming 2022 offers students with different colored T-shirts depending on their class.

“Each year, we select the Homecoming date to coincide with a home football game, preferably after a week that we have an away game. This year that left two options, Friday, September 16, or Friday, October 7. We decided to pick September 16 to avoid Homecoming being on a holiday weekend,” said Marc Wolfe, the Student Activities director at WEGO.

“We have had to really get our group together to get things going this year. Powder puff, t-shirts, and planning the pep assembly are all high on the to-do list!” said Pep Club advisor and Spanish teacher Elizabeth Mastroianni.

Homecoming really begins the Friday before the weekend, or September 9. However, prior to the big events taking place on Friday and Saturday, which include the football game and dance, there is a celebratory week, which kicks off when most of the school’s clubs and activities (those who have signed up for an area) will decorate the school in accordance with the theme, or, if desired, the school’s colors: blue and white. Hallway decorating sets the tone for the entire week, and is designed to encourage the Homecoming spirit.

Pep Club meeting from this year where students are prepping and planning for Homecoming. (Photo by Elizabeth Mastroianni )

In the course of the eventful week, there will be activities planned after school, including a movie night that will take place on Wednesday, September 14. The movie itself is still undecided, as voting is taking place during den time, so students will have to wait to figure out what film will be showcased. The options this year are Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Wreck-it-Ralph, as well as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Den classes will be voting on their top pick and whichever movie has the most votes will be played at the event.

“We had a decent turnout of events last year as we returned to ‘normal’ school. I am hoping even more students participate in all the fun activities we have planned throughout the week, from dressing up for spirit days to attending movie night, and the dance,” said Social Studies teacher Candace Fikis, the sponsor of Student Council at West Chicago Community High School.

Friday is when the merrymaking truly hits off running. There will be activity after activity on September 16, starting with an assembly that will be planned and executed by the Pep Club. Students will be dismissed from academics at noon, and the assembly will begin just after that, most likely at Memorial Stadium (weather depending). To help students get in the Homecoming spirit, Pep Club has planned several games that pit the various classes against each other.

“We are hoping to do some teacher versus student things so that will probably be the most fun,” said senior Courtney Roxas, a member of Pep Club.

Prior to the football game, junior and senior girls will compete in the fan-favorite Powderpuff match. This is a competition in which the girls step foot on the field to play flag football, juniors vs. seniors. During this competition, it is tradition for a group of boys to perform cheers and dance on the sidelines with poms. Seniors Sofia Tamayo and Alexa Correa, this season’s WEGO Dance captains, will be teaching and training the so-called “Pom Boys” for the game.

For senior Marimar Huerta, a member of Pep Club, the most anticipated event is “the Powderpuff game. This is a time when all the girls get to make friends. It’s so much fun.”

WEGO Global walking in the Homecoming parade with a banner last year, 2021.

After the assembly, students will have the opportunity to walk in the traditional Homecoming parade that loops all the way around Leman Middle School and back to the high school. The local elementary and middle school students can watch the high schoolers and staff march in this parade, and get introduced to all the sports, clubs and organizations they can join once they reach secondary school. In conjunction with the Candyland theme of this year’s event, numerous organizations will toss candy out to the younger classmen who gather along the streets and sidewalks. The parade is open to the entire community, and offers a chance for families and alumni to be involved in Homecoming festivities. Individuals who would like to watch the parade and support the school and its students should start gathering around noon.

Food Fest, a chance for students to purchase food from WCCHS clubs and organizations, will follow the parade. As of print, four organizations have signed up to sell food ranging from pickles on a stick to Kona shaved ice. Prices range from $1-7.

Brittney Bauer, FCCLA sponsor, explained that “selling pizza at Homecoming Food Fest helps FCCLA with fundraising for membership and competitions. FCCLA members need to volunteer during food fest in order to get money toward their membership/competition. It is very fast paced, and we always sell out!”

FCCLA selling pizza at a busy Homecoming food fest in 2021. (Photo by Brittney Bauer )

The big event, however, is the football game: on Friday, September 16, the Wildcats will battle Fenton High School in their Homecoming match-up. Last year, WEGO lost their homecoming game against games, but WEGO now boasts a new football coach, Adam Chavez, who took on the role in the summer of 2022.

“Coaching this team has been fun. The players and coaches are excited about what the future holds. We are focused on getting better every day, and beating our opponent each week,” said Chavez.

For the Finale of Homecoming week is the dance on Saturday night at 7 pm. The dance is always special because it is the one time a year where the entire school is able to get dressed up and go to a school dance with friends and peers. This year, the dance will be in Bishop Gym, as opposed to the outdoor dance that took place last year in 2021. Food, drinks, decorations and fun will all be a part of the dance.

All in all, Homecoming 2022 will be a memorable experience for students and staff thanks to the help from the entire school and community.

Ellie Tewell, a freshman at the high school this year is “excited to see the school spirit and participation in activities.”