Homecoming Happenings ’18

Henry Wieman, News Writer

Homecoming is an oft-anticipated and exciting event that Wilmington Friends School students take part in, as athletes and as fans. However, it is important to remember that Homecoming isn’t just for students; it’s also an opportunity for alumni to reconnect to the special community formed here at Friends.

This year’s homecoming was an exciting one for the students, particularly fall athletes. Anticipation of the event was shown throughout spirit week in the outrageous outfits some students wore, and culminated in Friday’s Pep Rally. And on Saturday, Homecoming weekend surpassed expectations. Soccer beat Tatnall 2-0, setting them up to win DISCs for the first time in 40 years, but that’s not all. Both football and field hockey also played Tatnall, with football handily winning 49-0, and Field Hockey defeating the fellow DISC school with a score of 2-1. In addition, Volleyball played Caravel Academy, winning all three matches. And while Cross Country may have had to miss the Pep Rally on Friday, they broadcasted their school spirit to 30 delaware schools at the Joe O’Neill Invitational, where Boy’s Varsity got 7th place and Girl’s Varsity took 26th, and where Connor Nisbet ‘18 won the Boy’s Varsity race by almost 10 seconds.

For many students, the school event culminated in the Homecoming Dance. This long-anticipated event took place Saturday Evening, and was put on by Spirit Committee, a club at Wilmington Friends that also takes charge of the Middle and Upper School Pep Rallies and all Spirit Week activities, all in build-up to Homecoming Weekend. For the past 5 years, the committee was sponsored by Gregg Miller, who is stepping down this year.  He commented on his experiences with Spirit Committee: “Watching how excited the lower school kids get to have the sports team visit them, or seeing people laughing and cheering at pep rally, or once the music starts at the dance and it looks like everyone is having a great time is all really rewarding.” Mycah Nicholson ‘19, one of this years clerks, also commented on the event and how it was perceived. “This was the most successful Homecoming in a while,” she affirmed. And the student body concurs. “It was awesome!” Said Ahmad Ayoub ’20, an exchange student from Palestine. “In Palestine we don’t have anything like this, so it was a cool experience,” Ahmad says.

However, Homecoming isn’t just for students; it also serves as a time of year for alumni to reconnect and return to their second home at Wilmington Friends School. The Jones House, home to the Alumni/Development Office, claims a responsibility for Homecoming as does the Athletic Program. They plan and coordinate everything for the weekend other than the sports and the dance. This includes, but is not limited to, the 50th Reunion, the Alumni Dinner on the Friday of Homecoming, and the Smith McMillan 5K, an event in memory of two Wilmington Friends Alumni. “It’s a ten-ring circus,” admits Charles “Chad” O’Kane, Director of Development at the Jones House. However, regardless the immense workload that comes with planning each of these events, Chad and his team, led in this respect by Special Events Coordinator Melissa Bileck, make sure nothing is overlooked and Homecoming runs as smoothly and is as successful as possible. “This event means a lot to alumni,” he says. “Many of them are far away removed from the school… at the 50th reunion there were alumni who hadn’t been here since graduation, and coming here really is like coming home.”

All said and done, this year’s Homecoming has been a large success and a joyous experience, both for the students and for the alumni.