Friday Night in Review

Homecoming weekend began with a parade of floats and a parking lot packed with tailgaters. By the end, the senior class saluted its King and Queen, topped off by a football victory.

Sally Cho and Quinn Volpe

Two words provoked the flocking of North Allegheny community members of all ages to the senior high Friday night: Homecoming weekend. 

The cheering of students and the arrival of 15 floats marked the beginning of the two-day festivities for students at both the senior and intermediate schools. From National Honor Society to the Girls’ Golf Team, trucks and trailers circled NASH late in the afternoon on Friday, carrying all thirty of the 2021-2022 Homecoming court nominees. 

The parade began shortly after 5:30pm on Friday. photo by Jess Daninhirsch

“Because the [Homecoming] theme is “Night Garden” we wanted to emphasize the ‘night”’aspect, so we took an aerial night sky approach,” said Hannah Shin, Homecoming nominee for DECA. 

Watching the moving vehicles with critical eyes, randomized spectators were chosen as judges, given the job of ranking each organization based on specific requirements. By the end of the second lap, the decision was made. Marching Band’s float topped all other organizations in the realm of originality, creativity, variety of materials, theme incorporation, and overall appearance. Their theme, based on the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, featured stark white togas and olive leaf crowns.

“Since I started my job as the Band President, I had a vision for the Homecocming float to be an ancient theme, which worked out perfectly because it also fit the dance theme,” said senior Band member Hunter Badamo.

Starting their float at the last minute, the team greatly came together on the last day to make Badamo’s dream come to life. 

“We were very lucky to have such a great organization full of eager volunteers to help make the float [Friday]. We wouldn’t have won without some really selfless people who gave up their free time after school,” Badamo continued.

Decked out in pink in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Student Section was thunderously loud at the game vs. Norwin. photo by Jess Daninhirsch

As the candy ran out and the floats came to an end, the energy was shifted to the middle of the parking lot. There, students donned in various shades of pink gathered to tailgate for the NA football game against Norwin. Shortly thereafter, the excitement forced the students to rush into the game early. Turning their pace into a speed walk, eager fans entered Newman stadium as they rushed for the perfect seat to the game. 

“Usually, before the game, we have a tailgate filled with spikeball, cornhole, and lots of pictures. I’m not sure if there was something in the air because it’s the Homecoming game or not, but everyone was really committed to getting into the stadium early so that they could snag a good spot in the bleachers,” said Student Section leader Abbey Hahn.

By halftime, the votes had been tabulated. The 2021 Homecoming King and Queen, Michael Alizray and Kara Mihm, were celebrated on the 50-yard line. photo by Jess Daninhirsch

Hahn was right — something was in the air. And that something was the excitement for the Homecoming Court results that were to be presented during halftime. Lined up at the far sideline as the first-half clock ticked down to zero, all eyes were on the candidates as they made their way across the field. The announcer lifted the microphone to his lips, and the packed crowd of NA students chanted the names of their favorite contenders. Michael Alizray, representing the student body, was crowned King, and Kara Mihm, representing TigerThon, was crowned Queen.  A flurry of flashes captured the huge smiles on both of their faces.

“It was so exciting. I felt very happy when I was crowned Homecoming king,” said Alizray.

When asked what Mihm thought of her paired king, she responded, “Mitch is great.  Everyone loves him. I’m really glad that he got his moment to shine.”