Crowning of a new Queen, recognition for a pair of longtime teachers, an upset win by the freshmen in Powder Puff football … Escalon’s 2014 Fall Homecoming had it all.
Julie Victorino took home the crown as the new Homecoming Queen, while teachers Rusty Fachner and Gary Ball – both of whom are retiring at the end of the current school year – were honored as Homecoming Grand Marshals.
Festivities played out all week on the campus of Escalon High with a Monday night rally and barbecue, special dress up days, Powder Puff competition on Wednesday night, the downtown parade on Friday afternoon, and then the Homecoming football game and queen coronation on Friday night. (Look for Powder Puff game coverage in the Oct. 1 issue of The Times.)
The varsity football team defeated Liberty Ranch on the gridiron (See story and photos in Sports, Page A15) and Grand Marshals Fachner and Ball were also introduced to the Homecoming Crowd as they were driven around the track in the back of a pick-up truck, Fachner armed with a golf club and Ball with some fishing gear, ready to head out into retirement.
Queen candidates this year were Darian Caton, Abbie Duarte, Paige Fisher, Piper Rockwell and Julie Victorino, with Victorino chosen for the honor. Football team captains Javier Perez, Caleb Mullen, Adam Roberson and A.J. Camarena were on hand for the coronation and presented Victorino with a cape, signed team ball, sash and flowers, while the crown was placed on her head by the 2013 Homecoming Queen, Taylor Busch.
“I am speechless about all of this,” an excited Victorino admitted after her ‘victory lap’ around the track in a convertible. “I definitely enjoyed dressing up for all the theme days, the night barbecue and rally were fun.”
Dad Tony Victorino escorted daughter Julie to the center of the field on Friday night, while mom Jill and older sister Erica also joined in the festivities. The 17-year-old newly crowned Queen carries a full academic load at EHS, including several AP courses and has a 3.8 GPA.
“Julie’s got a lot of drive in her,” noted dad Tony. “I’m really proud and I’m feeling really lucky, I felt she was the dark horse in all of this.”
The crowd, however, roared their approval as Victorino was announced as the queen and the football team made sure Homecoming was a total success, with the shutout win over their non-league opponent.
For the Grand Marshals, they enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere and the cheers from the crowd as well, Gary Ball retiring after 37 year of teaching in the district and Rusty Fachner retiring after 38 years at Escalon.
Memorable events for the two included Ball seeing the birth of his first child, son Jim, during his second week teaching in the district while Fachner said he most enjoyed being able to shape his daughters’ lives both as a coach and teacher.
For the evening, the local P&L Concrete donated flowers and trees to decorate at midfield, the Flower Pot provided corsages for all candidates and Dugo Signs did the signs for all candidate vehicles and that of the Grand Marshals.
The Homecoming Float competition saw the seniors take first place, the juniors in second, third place went to the freshmen and fourth place to the sophomores.