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Parade Honors State Champions
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Friday, Jan. 21 will be Winter Homecoming for Escalon High School, and the special week of activities is also expected to include a downtown parade to honor the 2010 State Division 3 Football Champion Cougars.

Tentatively scheduled for Thursday afternoon, Jan. 20, the parade route is still being finalized but school and city officials are looking at a start time following a school rally.

"The rally will be at 2:40 p.m., they have a rally planned at the gym," said Escalon City Manager Henry Hesling, working with the school to coordinate the event. "Their Homecoming Committee will set it up, but from what I understand they will come to the downtown staging area and have the parade."

Hesling said he also anticipates action by the Escalon City Council to offer a proclamation for the Cougars at the Jan. 18 meeting, possibly declaring a 'Cougar Week' in the community.

"Eventually we also want to try to put signs at all the entrances to the city," Hesling added of noting the state honor.

Escalon High School Principal Jason Maggard said initially, the team was scheduled to travel to the State Capitol for a recognition ceremony earlier the same day, but that trip was not solidified at press time.

The parade is expected to start at 3:30 p.m., following the school rally and after the dismissal of classes at 3:05 p.m. on Jan. 20. The entire community is invited.

"I'm not sure exactly how the route is going to look but we will end at the (Main Street) park and have another presentation there," Maggard said.

The timing seemed to be a good fit, the principal added, with Winter Homecoming set for Friday, Jan. 21. There will be special dress up days all next week as part of the festivities, along with the crowning of the Homecoming King at the Friday night basketball game against Hilmar.

Meanwhile, a group of parents is working on some fundraisers to help purchase championship rings for members of the 2010 varsity football squad.

"We are looking for donations," said parent Tammy Alcantor, one of those heading up the effort.

A variety of fundraisers are also being considered, everything from a 'Cougar Night' at local restaurants with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the ring fund, to See's Candy sales to the sale of purple and gold 'state champion' bracelets.

Alcantor said residents can also make cash donations, with checks payable to Escalon Sports Boosters, with 'Championship Ring Fund' in the memo. They can be dropped off at the Escalon High School counseling center between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. or at Escalon City Hall from 8 a.m. to noon or 1 pm. to 5 p.m.

Alcantor and Debbie Hill are working on the fundraising activities and can be contacted for more information or to offer assistance, Alcantor at 480-3728, Hill at 968-4834.