A week of on-campus fun was capped on Friday night, Jan. 28 in Escalon with the crowning of a new Winter Homecoming King. Alfonzo Gonzalez, one of five candidates in the running, received the honor at halftime of the varsity boys basketball game against Ripon Christian.
The Cougars, unfortunately, fell to the rival Knights in the contest (see story, photos in Sports, Page A6) but the rest of the festivities were a success.
Special dress up days around the theme of ‘Ho Ho Homecoming’ were staged during the week while a Friday afternoon ally also saw the selection of a staff King and Queen, with teachers Michael Bower and Myranda Verdin receiving those honors.
In the shopping cart float competition, the senior class took first place with their Elf movie-themed float and second place went to the sophomore class with their Grinch theme.
This year’s Homecoming candidates were Alfonzo Gonzalez, Jacob Dugo, EJ Lewis, JP Lial and Tyler Medina. Each had to take part in some activities during the week and all were introduced at halftime of the varsity game on Friday night, escorted to center court by various family members.
Homecoming Commissioners Isabella Nalbandian and Grace Underwood first introduced last year’s Homecoming King Michael Baptista, who returned to present the crown to his successor. They also thanked Dugo Signs, Mar Val and “everyone who helped make this night happen.”
Each candidate had a little bit of biographical information shared about them, along with their plans for the future and their favorite memory of high school.
For newly crowned king Gonzalez, he was escorted to center court by his mom Lidia and younger sister Isabella, with brothers Roy and Oscar also in attendance.
“I feel good, thankful,” Gonzalez said after the crowning. “Everything was fun this week, sometimes a little embarrassing, but fun.”
He played football all four years of high school and is in his fourth season of Cougar soccer this year. He currently works at Valley Farms and plans to become a semi-truck driver following high school.
His favorite memory was playing in the football playoff game against Woodland this past season in the fog and getting the win.
His message to peers and underclassmen: “Get involved as much as you can” and enjoy it.
All five of the candidates played football together as Cougars, winning the Division V Section title this past season. Currently, Lial and Lewis are involved in wrestling, Medina suited up for basketball and Dugo and Gonzalez are playing soccer.