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WHS hosts Homecoming coronation tonight

District 518

WORTHINGTON -- It's their time, and the Worthington High School Trojans are ready to celebrate.

Homecoming 2009, themed "It's Our Time," will kick off tonight at 7:30 with a coronation of the Homecoming king and queen at the high school.

For the first time ever, the celebration actually began last week, when the Homecoming court was introduced to the student body during an assembly Wednesday.

"We've not done that in the past, we usually just put them in the bulletins or say their names over the P.A., so that was a great kickoff to Homecoming week, so all the students could see who was going to run for king and queen," explained Sam Becker, a teacher who oversees Homecoming events. "And then we did our voting through our campus computer system. ... What a timesaver."

On the 2009 Homecoming court are Allison Jaycox, Deann Naab, Angela Bui, Kayla Vander Veen, Paige Westphal, Vanessa Alvarado, Aaron Grafing, Michael Harberts, Travis Meinders, Ricky Thonglyvong, Wesley Berger and Max Pierson.

The royalty crowned tonight will visit Prairie Elementary to eat breakfast with the youngsters -- and enjoy a few minutes of fame.

"The little kids love that, they actually ask for autographs," Becker said.

Students get creative with themed dress-up days throughout the week. Today is Hawaiian Day and Elderly Person Day Wednesday, followed by Class Color Day on Thursday and Spirit Day on Friday.

The week will wind down Friday, with a pep fest in the afternoon and a 7 p.m. football game against Windom.

The Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band providing halftime entertainment. A homecoming dance will follow at the high school.

Homecoming T-shirts are also for sale this week at the high school. The original design for the shirts, which featured an evolutionary timeline with Trojans at the end, was deemed offensive to some, and the already printed shirts were not sold.

"They were controversial," commented WHS Principal Paul Karelis. "We decided we didn't want to deal with that and we pulled them."

A business teacher at the school, Gene Lais, developed a new black-and-white design with a drawing of an armored Trojan warrior that reads Trojan Homecoming '09, and most of those shirts have been sold, Karelis reported.