Valerie Scott was entering her third year teaching American Sign Language at Hobbs High School earlier this month when she got some good news. The first-year faculty sponsor of the HHS Student Council was told homecoming was a go for this year.
And she was in charge.
“I got handed it I guess the first two days of school,” Scott told the News-Sun. “It was really kind of cool. The kids ask, ‘We really get to do this?’ I said, ‘We really get to do this.’”
This is Scott’s first year in charge of organizing homecoming in Hobbs. When she told her students, she was pleased — and more than a little surprised — how quickly they jumped in to help.
“I have more support than you can imagine,” Scott said. “I’ve got 88 kids in my group. All of them have been, ‘What do you want us to do?
Tell us what to do.’”
And plans for the 2021 homecoming celebration week are coming together. The Eagles are scheduled to face Roswell in a 7 p.m. non-district matchup Friday, Sept. 3 at Watkins Stadium on the HHS campus. But the game marks the culmination of a week of activities across the district, Scott said.
“We’re calling it ‘Lights! Camera! Action,’” she said. “It’s movie themed.”
The celebration kicks off that Monday, Aug. 30, with themed “dress-up” days every day, Scott said. Monday is pajama day and Tuesday, Aug. 31, will be “twinning” day, based on the movie The Parent Trap, about twin sisters who were separated at birth only to meet later in life.
Wednesday, Sept. 1, is Space Jam day, with students wearing their favorite team’s jersey. Thursday, Sept. 2, will be time to “cowboy up,” Scott said, for Yellowstone day and Friday, game day, the theme is Friday Night Lights, with everyone asked to wear Hobbs school colors of black and gold.
Scott hopes everyone will get into the spirit of the homecoming dress-up days, both in the schools and around the community.
“We have asked the elementary and middle schools to join us on those dress-up days,” she said. “And it would be great if some of our businesses would get involved in the dress-up days. It would be fun to walk into (a business) and everybody was in pajamas. That would be hysterical.”
During the day Friday, at 2:20 p.m., HHS will host a pep rally, including the naming of finalists for homecoming king and Queen. After the pep rally, entries will begin lining up near the railroad tracks on West Broadway Street in downtown Hobbs for the annual homecoming parade.
Floats and more will begin gathering about 3:30 p.m. with the parade scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. The parade will head east on Broadway to Turner, where it will turn left and proceed to the parking lot at Broadmoor Mall, Scott said.
Scott hopes local businesses, civic groups and more will get involved. To request a parade entry form, email her ator call her at 806-928-1813.
Support for the parade and the students has also been rolling in, Scott said. Within hours of finding out events could proceed, she said she received a call from a parent, offering to fully sponsor and pay for the HHS Student Council float.
Halftime of the football game will see the introduction of the six finalists for homecoming royalty — three queen candidates and three king candidates — on the field at Watson Stadium, followed by the announcement and crowning of the king and queen for 2021.
Everything, of course, is contingent on the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Scott said. But she and her students are proceeding on the premise everything will be a go when homecoming week rolls around.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t making contingency plans should that “worst-case scenario” come to pass, she said. If a new state mandate shutters fall homecoming activities for another year, there’s always the spring.
“Spring homecoming that honors the spring sports,” Scott said. “Instead of just being for spring sports, it may have to be a homecoming overall. And we would try to do the parade then.”
Scott and her students really hope that doesn’t happen, though, she said. With everything that’s happened to Hobbs since the start of the pandemic early last year, this is needed.
“There was a lot related to COVID and the fact, with COVID, the kids didn’t get to do things or see each other,” she said. “We all really need this. It’s going to be an amazing, fun time.”