Lake Forest revels in salvaged Homecoming
Nicole Vargas, 17, performs with the Varsity Poms during Friday's Homecoming pep rally at Lake Forest High School. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 27, 2012 7:58AM
LAKE FOREST — Homecoming 2012 forever will go down in Lake Forest High School history as the homecoming that almost wasn’t.
The first-ever teachers strike, resolved just two days before Friday night’s scheduled Homecoming varsity football game, nearly canceled the event that, probably more than any other, heralds the start of the academic year and kicks off the collective school spirit.
Student leaders scrambled Wednesday, the first day back after a five-day teacher walkout, to salvage the planned Thursday night pep rally at West Campus and asked school administrators if they could hold it at East Campus after school on Friday instead.
The only hint that there was any change in plans came when Student Council President Hannah Faucher thanked the administrators at the start of the Friday pep rally “for letting us do this on such sort notice.”
Student Council members had just 48 hours from when the teachers’ returned to classes on Sept. 19 to pull off a pep rally on Sept. 21, but they got it done — and they got it done right.
Students from all grade levels decked out in Scout blue and gold packed the competition gym and cheered the performances by the LFHS band, cheerleaders and poms teams. The high caliber of the routines and arrangements made it look as if the teachers’ strike, makeshift classes and student candlelight vigil that marked the beginning of the week never happened.
“It was a good way for the week to end,” Faucher said.
Faucher and Student Council Vice President Kerry Wanner, both seniors, agreed that the Friday afternoon pep rally at East Campus turned into a better show of support from students, parents and faculty than the last few Thursday night Homecoming pep rallies at West Campus.
“It was a good opportunity for the whole school to come together and for students to show they are part of the school and from the faculty that makes it happen,” Wanner said.
Senior Emily Sherman, crowned Homecoming queen at Friday afternoon’s event, said she thought the pep rally “went really well.”
“It was a good way to pep us up,” she said.
Because the strike was resolved before Friday, the varsity football team was allowed to play its game against Zion-Benton Township High School. LFHS varsity football was forced by the Illinois State High School Assocation to forfeit its game against Lake Zurich High School Sept. 14 since school was not in session.
“It would’ve been really sad to see the football players not play another game after having worked all summer,” Sherman noted.
Instead, the varsity players gave their fans a big Homecoming win by trouncing the Zee-Bees 41-13.
“I knew we were going to be back at school at some point,” freshman Liam Forlow said. “It’s nice they could have Homecoming.”
Senior Mitchell Talbot admitted he was glad to be back in school with his teachers last week.
“I had faith our teachers and administrators would work it out,” he said.