Throwing baby powder at the end of the national anthem happens at every football game. The uproar starts the chaotic and energetic energy that other schools know our student section for. (Photo courtesy of Charlotte Goto)
A huge part of high school is traditions, as they give students something to look forward to being a part of every year. Leesville Road High School has many traditions that have changed and ended over the years.
Traditions pass down year after year but sometimes end due to student’s lack of interest. Students have high expectations for these events, and when those ideals are not met people abandon them.
Unfortunately with COVID-19, none of these traditions are the same, some are not happening at all. This article focuses on the changing traditions in the non-COVID era, or what a normal year would look like.
Homecoming is the first hoorah of the school year — it is a time when students come together to show off their school spirit. Usually, homecoming happens mid-late October. Students celebrate all week with various spirit days and then go to a football game on Friday. That Saturday, groups of friends go to dinner and take pictures.
“The actual homecoming dance was only a thing until my sophomore year, but no one went so we just dressed up and went to dinner every year,” said Marina Desousa, a 2019 Leesville graduate via text. The last time homecoming week had a dance was in 2016.
In its final years, the homecoming dance took place in the cafeteria. “I think the setting is why people stopped going, people would rather just hang out with their friends and take pictures,” said Desousa.
With homecoming, comes the election of the homecoming court, king, and queen. Carson Sellers was the 2019 homecoming queen and said via text, “I feel that in movies people see homecoming queen as someone who is mean and wants to gain popularity, but that’s not how I felt at all. Through the years homecoming queen has become less about a popularity contest and more about someone who exemplifies a great amount of school spirit.”
Around the same time as Homecoming, the Powderpuff game occurs. Powderpuff is where girls sign up and play football against each grade level. The boys on the school football team coach them.
In 2018, there were only about 35 girls in total who participated. The freshman girls won easily since they had about 20 kids participate. Prior to that, there were enough girls from each class to play 3 games: 9th Vs 12th and 11th vs 10th. The winners played each other in the finals. The seniors almost always won. And, there were practices and participation.
“At Broughton, powder puff is a big deal, not only do we do the girl football games, but the dance team teaches boys routines and they perform at the games, we also have a faculty vs senior game, it’s a super fun night and the stands are always filled with people supporting,” said Muhser Thayousoe, a junior at Broughton High School via text.
Broughton is known for its long-lasting traditions. Events they have that differ from Leesville are dances such as Sadie Hawkins, Special Needs, and Queen of Hearts. On the first day of school, they have traditions such as seniors wearing all white and the freshman and seniors eat pizza on the lawn.
Another popular event in the middle of the school year is Winterfest. Last year Leesville attempted to host a dance for the first time in years, but less than 100 people showed up.
“The dance would have probably been more fun if more people attended and it was not in the Murphy building, it almost felt like it was put together at the last minute,” said a junior at Leesville via text, who wished to remain anonymous.
“There’s a follow the leader kind of tactic revolving around school events; if enough people say they don’t want to show, you can expect no one to show,” said Lyric Chassin, a senior at Leesville, via text.
As a senior, traditions are always cherished. It is the last year they can participate in school spirit events with their fellow students. Some traditions Leesville seniors take part in are decorating their parking spaces in chalk at the beginning of the school year, senior skip day, and senior pranks.
Leesville does have few traditions that no other schools in the county have. Students paint the mural by the Murphy building each year to represent the senior class. Seniors also decorate crowns during homecoming week and wear them on Friday.
Leesville’s student section at football games is known for having an insane amount of spirit. With football games comes the traditions of throwing baby powder in the air at the end of the national anthem, the story of the mighty lion during halftime, and going to Bojangles or Waffle House after the games.
“At Sanderson, we have a spirit stick, but our spirit stick doesn’t even compare to all of Leesville’s student section,” said Marlee Darlington via text, a sophomore at Sanderson High School.
COVID has brought an event that some have said they would like to see continue. The senior parade, and the under the lights street parade. Both involved people decorating, dressing up, and then driving through the street near the school, being able to see faculty and friends while still maintaining safe social distancing. This is definitely something people want to do again.
Even if traditions continue to change, students will always be grateful that Leesville continues to cherish and support their students/faculty. Not every school receives the privilege Leesville does to have this many traditions, so we take great PRIDE in what we do.