Freshman experience first Homecoming

Laynie Stroup, Reporter

If you were to ask any student at Martin about Homecoming, they could give you so many stories from previous years, But what about the freshman class of 2024, whose first Homecoming happened to be in a pandemic?

“Homecoming was a little disappointing because the student section was all spread out and wasn’t very hyped,” freshman Alyssa Lee said.

Martin played their  homecoming game on Oct. 16. It was unlike any Homecoming game before.

“My favorite part of the game was the last touchdown because my entire section stood up and began cheering,” Lee said. “It felt normal, like there wasn’t a pandemic going on.”

The game was played at Globe Life Park and was against Martin’s biggest rivals, Arlington High. Martin took the win 52-21 making Homecoming a victory.

“I wasn’t really worried about Homecoming getting canceled because we live in Texas and Homecoming  is a really big deal,” Lee said. “But I wish there could have been 50 percent capacity because not many people were allowed to go.”

The tradition of wearing mums and garters to the game continued but there was an absence at school.

“I chose not to wear my mum to school because there were barely any kids in my classes and no one would see it,” Lee said. “I thought I would be wearing it for no reason.”

Every year the Student Council takes hours to decorate the whole school for Homecoming day, making photo ops and decorating the halls. With Covid, those traditional plans had to change.

“We needed to make sure we weren’t having a large Homecoming gathering, so we got approval to do a homecoming parade,” student council teacher Courtney Briggs said. “The attendance wasn’t great but we wanted to give students the opportunity to come out and take pictures with their mums.”

There has been lots of conversation about this freshman class not being able to get to know their classmates and most have never met in person. This made finding a date more challenging than previous years.

“I hope they felt comfortable enough to participate in the dress up days and go to the game,” Briggs said. “I really think they missed out on the Martin way of Homecoming.”

The cancelation of the pep rally and decorations played a huge part of Homecoming being disappointing. The only Homecoming event was the game.

“We had a different aspect of Homecoming this year,” Briggs said. “We brought this year’s idea of Homecoming back to the community and made Homecoming bigger than just a game.”

Although Homecoming wasn’t like previous years, Martin made sure that the students were still given a proper Homecoming game.

“My favorite part of the game was halftime,” freshman Aryana Louys said. “I got to watch my best friend perform for the drill team and I loved watching the Homecoming court.”

However there were parts of Homecoming that had never been an issue until now.

“I wish more students wore their masks,” Louys said. “Some students in my section just decided they didn’t want to wear it.”

Another thing that was different to Homecoming this year was that tickets were sold online the week of Homecoming.

“I didn’t mind having to buy my seats online before the game because I bought them with a couple of people so I wasn’t sitting  alone,” Louys said.

Some freshman decided not to make mums this year but still found their school spirit by going to the football game.

“I think that the students made this year’s homecoming special,” Louys said. “It was special because of the students’ high spirits and the idea that it’s not all about the mums and big celebrations, it’s about the student body.”