Jacob Walden thought it might be a prank. Kaden Christensen was coming off a college tour and didn’t even know the voting had been held.
But both were nominated as Homecoming King candidates, with the winner to be crowned on Friday night, Jan. 31 as the Cougars play host to the Riverbank Bruins in boys basketball action.
Walden and Christensen were joined by fellow candidates David Camacho, Jack Fitzgerald and Kaidence Trejo in being nominated for the honor.
Theme for the EHS Winter Homecoming is The Wizard of Oz, with the saying “There’s No Place Like Homecoming” the school’s mantra for the week.
Theme Days were to include: Twister Day on Tuesday with wacky mismatched clothes; Wednesday is Which Witch is Which, with dressing up as a twin with a friend suggested. Thursday is Lions and Tigers and Bears safari day and Friday is There’s a Storm Coming, with classes to wear their colors, yellow for freshmen, purple for sophomores, white for juniors and black for seniors.
Madelyn Page and Ella MacKinnon are this year’s Homecoming Commissioners and will serve as emcees for the Friday night crowning and celebration.
Here is a look at the candidates, featured in alphabetical order. All of this year’s candidates were members of the state championship football team.
David Camacho is the son of Cecelio and Maria Camacho.
“It felt great, I was a little shocked because I didn’t expect it,” Camacho said of receiving the nomination, adding that he is looking forward to Thursday’s Safari Day the most.
He feels that his sense of humor was one of the qualities that earned him the nomination and added that he enjoys interacting with all students at EHS. His favorite memory of high school is winning the football state championship and he is looking at attending Delta College, with a goal of entering the criminal justice field.
Kaden Christensen is the son of Ryann and Brandon Smith.
“I was bombarded,” Christensen admitted of returning from a college tour to find out he was among the nominees. “It feels good and I guess it means I’ve had a positive effect on people around campus, that’s what I try to do.”
He’s looking forward to the entire Homecoming experience and agreed with fellow football teammate Camacho that the state championship is the best memory of his time at EHS. He is talking with a few colleges as he prepares for his next step after high school and said he will probably start studying liberal arts, as he considers a career path.
Jack Fitzgerald is the son of Tim and Michelle Fitzgerald.
“I was honored,” he admitted of the nomination. “I felt honored that my peers picked me.”
He was he was definitely looking forward to the various dress up days during the week.
As far as his best memory of high school, he said: “Everyone else is going to say the state championship so I will just say every Friday night at football was my favorite.”
Kaidence Trejo is the son of Alonzo Trejo and Adrian Barajas.
“It feels good, I was surprised but it was awesome,” he said of hearing his name announced as a candidate. “My favorite dress up days will be safari day and spirit day (Friday) because I always want to represent.”
His favorite memory at Escalon is being part of the football team and other athletic squads throughout the years.
“Being able to be with my friends,” he said of the best part of athletics.
He is debating between veterinary science and forensic science as his career choice.
Jacob Walden is the son of Mark and Karen Walden.
“I honestly thought I was being pranked,” he admitted of learning he had been nominated. “I guess I was kind of shocked but it honestly makes me feel good that people thought that highly of me to vote me in.”
Winning the Homecoming crown would be a nice bonus but the senior said his best memory from high school has already been decided.
“Obviously it’s going to be winning state,” he said with a smile.
The crowning ceremony is scheduled on Friday night in the EHS gym. The trio of Trans-Valley League boys basketball games begins with the freshman tip off at 4 p.m., followed by JV at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity game at 7 p.m.
The contests against Riverbank will kick off the second half of the TVL schedule for the Cougars.