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Winter Homecoming - Five Battle For Crown
Friday night's varsity basketball game against Ripon will culminate a busy week on the Escalon High campus, celebrating Winter Homecoming. One of five candidates will be crowned as King at halftime and students are also enjoying a variety of 'dress up' days as the anticipation builds.

Candidates for the honor of Homecoming King are Daniel Alcantor, Lucas Cruz, Ian Fitzgerald, Gino Franceschetti and Travis James.

Daniel Alcantor is the son of Robert and Tammy Alcantor and said being a well-rounded student is important, as he has taken some tough academic courses to go along with participating in sports at Escalon High. The past four years, he said, have prepared him for moving on. And, he added, one teacher - this year his AP Chemistry teacher - has also been an integral part of his time at EHS.

"Gary Ball knows all," Alcantor said, smiling.

Lucas Cruz is the son of Lucas and Claudia Cruz and said being in contention for the crown wasn't on his radar.

"Kind of surprised," he admitted of being among the selected five.

But he is happy to be in the Homecoming mix and said it is that sense of community and belonging that has made Escalon High School a special place.

"For me, there's just a lot of good people here," Cruz said.

The son of Tim and Michelle Fitzgerald, Ian Fitzgerald is another senior carrying a full load of courses, including several AP classes. He moved to Escalon when he was in sixth grade, starting at El Portal Middle School.

"I've formed some pretty close friendships here and everyone's almost like family," Fitzgerald said. "And the close interaction between students and teachers, you build relationships."

Those bonds help students succeed, he said, in school, sports and life outside the school walls.

Gino Franceschetti is the son of Mark and Sherri Franceschetti and said he was honored to be among those nominated for the Homecoming King.

"It's just nice knowing people like and respect you," he said.

A scholar and multi-sport standout athlete at Escalon, Franceschetti already is looking beyond the high school years to his future.

"I'm planning to go to Sac City College, they have a good program there, I plan to be an air traffic controller," he said.

The son of Alina James, Travis James said he was "pretty excited" to be among the five nominees selected for the Homecoming honor. He also has enjoyed the small, close-knit supportive environment at Escalon High.

"It's special that way, you know everyone," he said.

And whether he takes the crown or not on Friday night, James has some goals in mind following graduation, looking to attend college in Oregon, hopefully play some collegiate football and study to be a firefighter.

Spirit Days already this week included Scarf/Beanie Day on Monday and Represent Your Elementary School on Tuesday.

Today, Wednesday, is being observed as Hippie Day, with Thursday set aside as Favorite Teacher Day. Friday will be the traditional Purple and Gold Day.

Basketball starts Friday with the freshmen at 4:30 p.m., tipping off against Ripon. The JV game follows at 6 p.m. and varsity at 7:30 p.m., with the crowning of the Homecoming King at halftime.