In a rare occurrence, all five of the Escalon High School 2022 Homecoming King candidates suited up for the same sport.
All were football players for this year’s Section title-winning Cougars team. They are also involved in a variety of other activities on the EHS campus but this is the first time in recent memory that all have been involved in the same sport together.
Candidates, announced on Friday morning, Jan. 21, include – in alphabetical order – Jacob Dugo, Alfonzo Gonzalez, EJ Lewis, JP Lial and Tyler Medina. Four of the five were on campus to receive their crowns and sashes as candidates; Medina was out of town on a college tour.
The candidates will take part in some activities this week during the Winter Homecoming observance and the winner is scheduled to be crowned at halftime of the Friday night, Jan. 28 varsity boys basketball game against Ripon Christian.
Theme for the week is “Ho Ho Homecoming and a Happy New Year” and there is a Friday afternoon rally scheduled, as well as the class shopping cart ‘floats’ competition in addition to dress up days.
Jacob Dugo, now playing soccer and serving as Student Body President, said he was “just happy to be nominated” and has enjoyed the chance to join different groups on campus through clubs, sports and organizations.
Alfonzo Gonzalez, also currently suiting up for soccer, said having the chance to play high school soccer with his older brother is among his best memories of his time at EHS.
“I’m just excited to be here,” he added of being one of the King candidates.
Moving from football to wrestling, EJ Lewis listed his favorite class as pre-period conditioning and Miss MacGregor as his favorite teacher.
The most fun during his years at EHS?
“Probably winning Section,” Lewis said.
Also now on the wrestling mats for the Cougars, JP Lial said he enjoys sports, being in the First Responders class, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and more.
“I’m involved in a lot; it’s fun to be around different groups of people.”
Lial used his phone to FaceTime fellow candidate Medina; who has moved from football to basketball.
“A win for the basketball team would be nice,” Medina said of his hopes for the week. “And I would like to see school spirit from the whole school.”
Homecoming Commissioners Isabella Nalbandian and Grace Underwood said the winter week was much easier to put together than the fall, especially since there was no downtown parade to coordinate.
“We’re definitely hoping everyone will be able to go to the game,” Nalbandian said, noting that some games this season have had limited attendance due to pandemic concerns.
Underwood said plans for the Friday afternoon rally will include an introduction of the King candidates and also feature the crowning of a teacher King and Queen, a fun event for the students and staff alike.
The basketball games for Homecoming on Friday night are against Ripon Christian; with the freshman contest scheduled at 4 p.m.; followed by JV at 5:30 p.m., and varsity tip off at 7 p.m.