Alumnae recall Homecoming traditions of the past

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Every year, a group of senior girls paint their bellies for the game. (Photo courtesy of Sarah DePage)

Ava Kunar

BY AVA KUNAR (‘18)

Though Granville is a school of traditions, there are many traditions that have changed over the years. Specifically, Homecoming week traditions are quite different now than they were just 25 years ago.

One tradition that is thing if the past is the “Ox Roast.” Alumna Brett Jump recalled the Friday event celebrated when she attended high school in the 1990s.

“The biggest tradition was the Ox Roast,” Jump said. She said was an all-day long event. The entire school had roast beef for lunch, and parents donated baked goods for dessert. She said that the whole town then gathered to watch the Homecoming parade, which ended at the elementary school.

“The Ox Roast continued that evening before the big game,” Jump said. “The line was often outside and wrapped around the building. Everyone was there. During the Homecoming game at halftime the queen was announced and the captains of the football team congratulated her with roses and a kiss on the check. It was a huge tradition.”

Though Jump participated in the Homecoming bonfire on Wednesday in the 1990s, Amy Vanmeter, an alumna who graduated in the 1980s, says that there was no Homecoming bonfire during her time in high school. The parade, though, is a long-standing tradition.

“Each class would have a float and we would ride through downtown Granville along with the Homecoming queen candidates,” she said. “We ended up at the football field. The queens were announced and at halftime the queen was crowned.”

Granville’s competitive nature is also long standing tradition. Just as the current students have competitions on floats, windows and banner decorations today, there were competitions between the classes of the high school when Vanmeter was a student.

“Each class had a wall to decorate depending on the theme of Homecoming, and we were judged,” Vanmeter said.

Jump mentioned another tradition about wall decorating that was slightly different than that of Vanmeter’s experience.

“The spirit wall was a huge one,” she said. “It was in the senior hall and anyone could write on it. It could be anything about the seniors or Go Aces. Really anything. Believe it or not it never got ugly. It was awesome. Very positive.”

One can’t speak of Homecoming without speaking of all of the football player and cheerleader traditions. Both Jump and Vanmeter were cheerleaders and they attest to special Homecoming traditions that they participated in as cheerleaders.

“On Thursday evening, we, the cheerleaders, captured the seniors and blindfolded them and took them to our homes where we had fixed them a fabulous pasta dinner for the seniors and the coaches,” Jump said. “That same night we TP’d the seniors and ate an early 6:00 am breakfast at Aladdin’s or Bob Evans.”

Vanmeter comments on a Homecoming tradition that the cheerleaders orchestrated during the time that she attended high school, too.

“We always decorated the football players’ lockers with different stuff as well,” she said.

Though simple corsages and boutonnieres are the style of today, large mums were more popular during the high school’s history.

“Ordering mums for the school dance was a tradition from the sixties and seventies, but I remember seeing all the girls with big white mums,” Jump said.

While mums and Ox roasts no longer surround Granville’s Homecoming, spirit week is a tradition that lives on today.

“It was always spirit week so we would have PJ day or blue and white day throughout the week,” Jump said.

Vanmeter remembers this tradition as well.

“We had crazy dress themes every day,” Vanmeter said.

Though Granville obviously attempts to stick to its traditions, traditions change and shift over the years.