"Once you are an E-Hawk, you will always be an E-Hawk."
That statement by guest speaker Tammy Naig set the tone for Tuesday's Homecoming coronation ceremonies at the Emmetsburg High School auditorium.
Homecoming week 2011 officially began on Monday at EHS, but Tuesday's Coronation ceremonies ramp the observance up for students and alumni at Emmetsburg. Homecoming will come to a conclusion Friday night when the E-Hawks host Sibley-Ocheyedan in football action at Duane Twait Field.
Coronation ceremonies for Emmetsburg High School’s 2011 Homecoming were conducted Tuesday night, with Arik Kerr and Katie Kassel being crowned to reign over the week’s festivities. The Homecoming Court is, seated from left to right: Crown Bearer Brady Anderson, King Arik Kerr, Queen Katie Kassel and Flower Bearer Nadia Berkland. Standing from left to right is Freshman class attendant Luke Jackson, Sophomore class attendant Brandon Elbert, Junior class attendant Nick Schany, King candidates Brady Berkland, Ryan Kliegl and Jake Carlson, Mistress of Ceremonies Paige Naig, Queen candidates Taylor Bruns, Kaity Degen and Aly Berven Junior Class attendant Jacque Carlson, Sophomore class attendant Jenna Wolfe and Freshman class attendant Alexa Naig. --Dan Voigt photo
Tuesday's program began with the EHS?Cheer squad leading the crowd in the school song with the assistance of the EHS?band and director Aaron Phillips. After a cheer and stunt, the evening's Mistress of Ceremonies, Paige Naig, welcomed the crowd and introduced the royal court for the evening and then introduced her mother as the guest speaker for the evening.
"I have been an E-Hawk my entire life," Naig began, as she recounted her school career in the Emmetsburg schools. "It's been 26 years since I?walked the hallways here at EHS."
Naig mentioned some of her memories of school, including remembrances with some faculty members who remain with the district today, including Dave Fog and Ted Riley.
"Dave Fog has the same energy, the same enthusiasm today that he had 30 years ago,"?Naig said, "and Ted Riley still repeats things two or three times now like he did when he coached us in basketball back then, "everyone get on the line..."
Naig went on to ask the audience to stand in response to how many of them were EHS graduates and still lived in Emmetsburg or the surrounding area, then how many were married to EHS?grads, and then how many people had taught in the district and stayed, raising their children in Emmetsburg, naming Dave and Kelley Fog, Sue and Max Strube and Linda and Rick Jones.
"All of you school kids, take a look around, especially you seniors,"?Naig said. "I?know you're anxious to get out of school, you can't wait to leave this place. You will venture out, but some of you will come back. Look at all these peo-
"Every time I?came home from college, I couldn't wait to leave and get back to college,"?Naig continued. "But now I've been back 18 years and a lot of these people have been back a lot longer than that."
"So some of you will be returning, and I?would remind everyone that no matter where you go, what you do or who you become, once you are an E-Hawk, you will always be an E-Hawk," Naig stated, drawing a huge round of cheers and applause from the crowd.
Even if people had not graduated from Emmetsburg, Naig told them she knew they had become E-Hawks as well."We all have 100-plus E-Hawk T-shirts in our closets and we all wear them with pride," Naig said. Being an E-Hawk becomes a huge part of who we are. What makes being an E-Hawk so special? There are two words that describe what it means to be an E-Hawk."
The words "E-Hawk Pride" floated from the crowd in the voice of young Jace Carlson.
"E-Hawk pride, Jace, you nailed it buddy,"?Naig repeated to cheers and applause.
Naig went on to talk about how when the football team walks to the top of the hill before heading down to Duane Twait Field, that they pass under the arch that says, Tradition Matters
"You know what boys, tradition does matter. They ran I-Right belly when I?went to school and you still run it today, don't you?"
Naig continued, "When you're down on the field, I?want you to remember that we are all filled with E-Hawk?Pride. You need to be proud of yourselves, be proud of your teammates, your coaches, ball boys, statisticians."
Following Naig's address, Chelsey Rouse, 2010 Homecoming Queen, opened the envelope to read the name of the new King. Taking the crown, she passed behind the four nervous contestants before placing the crown on the head of Arik Kerr, who rose from his chair with arms extended to cheers from the crowd and handshakes from his fellow contestants.
Taking his place center stage, Kerr watched as 2010 Homecoming King Cory Schultes opened the envelope to read the name of the new queen, and gently taking the tiara, placed it on the head of Katie Kassel to more cheers and applause from the crowd. Kassel moved to center stage to hug Kerr as the newly crowned royalty was applauded by the crowd.
There ceremonies concluded with the EHS?band playing "Wind Beneath My Wings" as the royal court left the auditorium.