By Natalie Mack, News Editor

Now that the majority of Nantucket has received the COVID-19 vaccination and life is slowly returning to normal, Nantucket High School was able to hold a homecoming last week. (October 25-31). This has been the first “normal” homecoming since 2019, before Covid hit. Last year, homecoming did take place; however, students were only in the building two days a week, some not at all. Floats were decorated, but there was no parade, hallways weren’t decorated, and the various other homecoming traditions didn’t take place. However, Nantucket High School was ready this school year, bursting at the seams with Whaler pride. 

A new tradition was added by Principal Mandy Vasil this year: door decorating. Each advisor chose a decade and decorated their door to match the one they chose. Each advisory was competing against each other, and doors were decorated the week before homecoming. In addition, on Saturday, October 23rd, for the first time in a couple of years, Nantucket High School hosted a homecoming dance at the VFW. Students at the dance were happy, able to enjoy legal drinks, snacks, music, and dancing together without masks.

The week started off with day one of the annual spirit week. Monday was Decade Day. Students and staff were able to choose any decade and dress as they did during that time period. Tuesday was Red Ribbon day, so NHS community members wore red in honor of drug and alcohol prevention month. Wednesday was Comfy-Cozy Day, and students and teachers alike wore sweatpants and nightshirts to school. Thursday was Color Wars Day, and saw seniors in black, juniors in white, sophomores in pink, and freshmen in green. Friday was, as always in spirit weeks, Whaler Pride Day. Each student who participated in a spirit day won a point for their class. The results state that the seniors and sophomores tied for first place, while the junior and freshman classes tied for second place in overall participation. 

On Wednesday the 27th, the junior and senior girls were scheduled to participate in the annual powderpuff flag football game. However, this game was postponed until Wednesday, November 3rd, due to rain and wind. The game resulted in a 12-0 win for the seniors. The long-awaited game received an amazing turnout from staff, students, as well as friends and families. About a month ago, each group began practicing and learning how to play the game from the football players in their grade. 

On Thursday the 28th, students spent all afternoon and evening decorating their designated hallway. The freshmen decorated their hallway with an outer space theme, sophomores did Willy Wonka, juniors did a Halloween theme, and seniors did Inside Out. At the Homecoming/Island Cup football game, it was announced that juniors won hallway decorations, sophomores came in second, seniors in third, and freshmen in fourth. As for the door decorating contest, juniors got first, seniors came in second, freshmen came in third, and sophomores in fourth.

Also at the Island Cup football game, the annual crowning of homecoming king and queen took place, yielding this year’s king and queen: Garner Ray and Mimi Belanger, respectively.

Another long standing tradition for Nantucket High School homecoming is the float parade. Each grade and sometimes certain sports teams decorate a large truck and drive through town. This year, homecoming day was postponed from Saturday October 30th until Sunday October 31st. The seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen, girls soccer team, and the cheerleading team built floats and made the loop around town Sunday morning at 8:30am. Students always decorate floats as they do hallways, but are required to incorporate Whaler pride into them. This year, the seniors built a farm-themed Whaler pride float, the juniors did a whale-of-fortune theme, sophomores continued the Willy Wonka theme from their hallway and added a touch of Whaler pride. The freshmen also did the same, continuing their outer space theme and adding some Whaler pride to it. Seniors came in first place, juniors in second, freshmen in third, and sophomores in fourth.

Lastly, the Island Cup, as well as the Homecoming football game, took place on Sunday October 31st at 2pm against Martha’s Vineyard. The final score was 27-7, with the Whalers keeping the cup. 

Although the weather may have caused Nantucket High School’s homecoming to reschedule some events, it turned out to be a win all-around. NHS principal Mandy Vasil reflects on her second homecoming here on Nantucket stating that, “While I enjoyed last year’s homecoming in a difficult year, this year was full of fun activities, excitement for students and staff, and the day full of athletic wins capped off a successful week!” Although Covid is still around, Nantucket High School did not let that stop them from beating Martha’s Vineyard and having a wonderful homecoming.

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