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Students show their school spirit at 2009 Homecoming

The varsity volleyball team chants as they run out on the court. Lauren Tiner. (click for larger version)
September 23, 2009
Students decked out the halls of Gilford High School and dressed up in blue and gold to show their school spirit during last week's homecoming festivities.

Last Friday was dubbed Blue and Gold Day and kicked off weekend events with a themed spirit wallway contest. The freshmen class through the senior class competed against each other in creating the best spirit wallway. There was a close call between the freshmen's "Sesame Street" wall, the junior's "CSI" wall, and the winning senior's "Survivor" wall, which took home the gold.

Students were rewarded for their hard work with a make-your-own-sundae bar during lunch hour, a treat many would soon work off at the athletic events and competitions to come, including the volleyball serving contest that night lead by the Golden Eagle mascot.

The GHS auditorium was packed Friday night with fans who cheered on the freshmen, JV, and varsity girls volleyball teams as they competed against Winnisquam. The varsity team played last and got the crowed going as they ripped off their black t-shirts to reveal bright pink jerseys to support breast cancer awareness. The varsity volleyball team, along with the Varsity Club, dressed in pink and collected donations for the American Cancer Society throughout the weekend.

After a long, competitive game Gilford lost to Winnisquam 3-2.

The girls wound down to recognize alumni volleyball players and coaches with roses. They also threw softballs out to young, adoring fans, and started off the volleyball serving contest that proved to be quite the spectacle, with dozens of determined seniors and volleyballs flying throughout the GHS auditorium.

Winners of the volleyball serving contest were excited to receive prizes such as free pizzas and gift certificates, although the true winners and honored students of the night were the Homecoming King and Queen, Antoine Engelen (a student from Belgium) and Alysse Tasse.

Parents and excited students lined the soccer field early on Saturday to watch the boys varisty soccer team play against Belmont, dressed up in jackets and snuggled up in blankets with hot coffees in the unexpectedly cold weather to witness the teams' longtime rivalry.

GHS students new and old are on to this heavy duty competition, although some view it as good natured competition more than others.

"Belmont and Gilford are both at the same level and both are really good," said Mollie Dignan, who watched the game with her friend Abby Drouin.

Students Martha Hempel and Sarah Fadden have been following the rivalry a little longer and have experience the fun times and the more intense times between the two teams.

"The guys don't like each other very much. Gilford is confident they will win. They get hyped up in their own way," said Hempel, who said their rivalry usually stays within the limits of playful teasing.

The first half of the varsity soccer game consisted of countless attempts to score goals on both teams, but neither team would give up at that first point. Gilford didn't score the first goal in the game until the second half. The goal appeared to knock Belmont's team off its feet, as Gilford scored six goals by the end of the game and shut out Belmont.

The Gilford Boosters, a parent organization, cheered on the soccer team and aided in the cold weather by selling big sweatshirts, hamburgers and hot coffees to the crowd. Volunteer members Lenny Gangi and Meladie Strout said they love homecoming because they can watch their kids and students enjoy some of the sports equipment they helped them purchase from similar fundraisers.

The girl's varsity soccer team played against Belmont as well and lost 2-1. Gilford's football team played against Franklin later in the day and won 20 to 14, while the golf team still remained undefeated, and the varsity field hockey team lost to Winnisquam.

A Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held between games and honored Kyle Crowell, Luke Demko, Katrina Howe, Jeremy Kelsey, and Rebekah Saunders, all from the GHS class of 2004.

To top off homecoming weekend, the junior and senior girls competed in the first ever "powder puff" football game. They dressed up in face paint and bandanas with football players as their supportive coaches for the night to raise money and show off the true spirit of GHS.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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