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Hounds bring home a win for Homecoming; football season ends in loss to Redwood

During Spirit Week, students played games during lunch and dressed up each day during the run up to Homecoming. Photo by Harper Pambrun

Homecoming King and Queen Salvador Murillo and Jordan Hathaway were crowned during the halftime show. Photo contributed.

The Greyhound offense was at its best during the Homecoming game against Pioneer Valley.

Photo by Codi Carroll

The “Dancing Through the Decades” Homecoming theme resulted in a lively halftime show.

Photo by Codi Carroll

On Oct. 18 the Hounds won their Homecoming game against the Pioneer Valley Panthers with a score of 24-10 in front of a packed house of football fans and alumni. Leading up to the Homecoming game, the school held a Spirit Week in which students dressed up for each decade and played games at lunch. The Leadership students organized an exciting halftime show during halftime celebrating this year’s theme of “Dancing Through the Decades,” followed by the Homecoming dance, which ended Homecoming activities on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the AHS gym. The Homecoming game was one of the bright spots of the football season.

During Spirit Week, each day represented a new decade of American culture, starting from the 60’s all the way up to the 90’s. First it was “Crazy Sock Day” on Monday celebrating the Sock Hops of the early 60’s; then Tuesday was Hippie/Tie Dye and Pajama Day as the 70’s theme. Wednesday featured the bright neon colors of the 80’s; Thursday was Black and White Twin day for the 90’s, and on Friday students wore the traditional Orange and Grey. Many students participated in the festivities, and were getting pumped up for Homecoming.

When the Homecoming match up finally began on Friday night, the Hounds started off the game with a kick to the Panthers, but quickly got the ball back. Atascadero dominated the field and pushed Pioneer Valley all the way to the five yard line, where junior Jadon Prince ran the ball and received the first touchdown of the match (7-0). Possession was changed back and forth until the second quarter where Pioneer Valley tied the score at 7-7. Atascadero lost the ball quickly, but pushed the Panthers back enough to force them into a reluctant three-point field goal (7-10). The Hounds refused to stay behind, and junior Ajai Daner got a 15-yard touchdown bringing the score to 14-10.

During halftime, over 50 students took the field and performed several dance routines with various costumes and music representing the “Dancing Through the Decades” theme. For example, some students danced to Elvis Presley to represent the 50’s and 60’s, while others danced to Micheal Jackson to represent the 80’s. After the performances, alumni Huy Vu and Casey Rowlett crowned the new Homecoming King Salvador Murillo, and Queen Jordan Hathaway. The Homecoming court of Freshman Prince and Princess Luke Heckman and Ava Camp, Sophomore Prince and Princess Lane Johnson and Renee Rivas, Junior Prince and Princess Zech Brown and Faith Rocha, and Senior runners up Logan Jones, Alex Zavala, Emily Heckman, and Autumn Burkey were also introduced. Jaycee McEntire was voted Football Sweetheart as well. Homecoming Queen Hathaway said, “Getting Homecoming queen completed my night after performing in the amazing halftime, and it felt like I was living in a movie.”

The second half of the Homecoming game started off slowly, and the third quarter was uneventful. In the fourth quarter, however, the Hounds came on strong with a 25-yard touchdown by Prince (21-10). The Panthers started to feel the heat and had no chance of coming back with just a few minutes left on the scoreboard. The Hounds pushed forward, but couldn't quite make the touchdown, so they settled for the final points of the game on a 23-yard field goal. The final score was 24-10, bringing in the third victory of the season for the Hounds.

On Saturday, the Homecoming week was topped off with a dance in the gym. Students dressed up in all sorts of different outfits from the 50’s to the 90’s and literally danced through the decades. Senior Jaycee Haynes said, “Homecoming was such a blast! I absolutely loved the theme. I adore the 60’s, and it gave me a reason to dress up.”

After the high of Homecoming, the football team hoped to keep up that momentum throughout the rest of the season. With the weight of that disappointing 0-10 season from the previous year, the Hounds had entered this season determined to have a better year. Their hopes were met, even though their top two quarterbacks, seniors Westly Cooper and Tyler Chronkright, received injuries early in the season. The Hounds came out on top against Buena (28-24), Shafter (28-8), and then against Pioneer Valley during Homecoming, but couldn’t keep that winning streak alive.

After Homecoming, Atascadero went on to face Nipomo for a disappointing 7-27 loss, and finally played against Paso Robles at home to a packed house, and yet again suffered a baffling 7-51 defeat. Even with a 3-7 record, Atascadero went on to have a rematch against Redwood, who they lost to 6-51 earlier in the season, in the CIF qualifying tournament on Nov. 8. The game went as expected, and the Hounds experienced a humiliating 48-6 loss to end a season of highs and lows.

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