Homecoming 2012 University Celebrates with Pep Rally and Tailgate

news-homecomingThis past weekend Monmouth University showed school spirit at the annual Homecoming event. The University kicked off the weekend of hawk pride at the pep rally held in the MAC on Friday, October 19.

The doors opened at around 5:00 pm and students filled the bleachers while the pep band set the tone for the festivities. The crowd cheered as the football team, led by Coach Callahan, paraded in at the start of the event. Prizes were given out to raffle ticket winners throughout the pep rally, while members of the dance team, pep band, cheerleading team and football team were chosen at random to participate in challenges such as a push up contest and dance off.

The Homecoming court was then announced and recognized by their peers. Max Kenney and Ashley McMahon were announced first as the winners for the freshman positions of Lord and Lady. Following them for the positions of Duke and Duchess were sophomores J’lyn Martin and Carly Swanson.  “It felt really good to win because to have enough of my peers vote for me made me feel great,” says Martin. “I didn’t really have expectations because I didn’t want to jinx myself.” Joining them on the Homecoming court were juniors Mike Migliaro and Nina Costa for the positions of Prince and Princess. The senior positions of Homecoming King and Queen were not announced until Saturday, the day of the game.

The pep rally finished out strong with a performance from the dance team, cheerleaders and pep band. Seniors from each team were then called down and recognized for their involvement, an early goodbye from the perspective coaches.

Saturday started with tailgating and a parade filled with floats created by member of Greek Life. “I liked seeing my friends on the float for the Homecoming court,” says junior Lauren Cane, a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity. 

The Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity was just one of the many Greek clubs that tailgated before the football game. “It was really fun. Everyone was just having a good time together. There was lots of spirit,” says Cane.

Sanchez, also a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, agrees the tailgating was the highlight of the day. “We missed out on it last year due to the horrible weather, so this year I loved seeing everyone out, enjoying the weather, reconnecting with alumni and having a good time.”

The winners of Homecoming of King and Queen were seniors Oscar Sanchez  and Katelyn Nawoyski.  “When they announced my name, I yelled so loud that I thought people in the parking lot could hear me,” says Sanchez. “It was super exciting and overwhelming, and I’m so thankful to everyone who voted. I’ve won the title for my year every year since I was a freshman so it was a very nerve wracking week waiting to find out the results to see if I had won and made a clean sweep, and thankfully I did!” He attributes his good fortune to his involvement on campus all four years, saying, “I think that the more that people do for MU throughout their time, the more votes they will receive. I’m on SGA, in the Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity, a Resident Assistant, and I was an Orientation Leader as a sophomore. So the more you do, the more your name will get out there and people will recognize it when it comes to things like voting for Homecoming.”

Other organizations like Hawk TV and WMCX joined Homecoming for a special live broadcast game show where alumni and families compete in different games and events for prizes, as well as a pre-game broadcast of the football

The game this year was against Bryant University. Even though the University was not victorious, the turnout of fans was still great. “This was the biggest homecoming game in the last couple years. More than 4,000 people attended the game compared to a smaller crowd of about 1,000 last year due to monsoon-like conditions,” said Eddy Occhipinti, Assistant Director for Marketing. “It was a great turnout for a great game, and hopefully this performance will increase future attendance.”

Some students feel that there is more behind than most people see. Junior and event staff member Michael Udayakumar said, “Homecoming is about more than just the football game, it’s about the social atmosphere, and it’s about Monmouth students coming together and celebrating the school.”