DOBSON — Tonight the homecoming festivities at Surry Central High School will take place as usual, but this year’s event has an added bonus — it’s the 50th homecoming of the school.
“I think people are excited,” said Kevin Via, principal at Surry Central.
For the 50th homecoming, school leaders have planned a few special additions to the usual parade and football game. R.O. Lanier, who was principal of the high school from 1961 to 1982, will take part in the homecoming parade. Alumni of the school also will be given black and gold ribbons when they enter the football stadium tonight. Athletic Director Anya Tilley-Martin said announcements will be made several times over the speaker commemorating the 50th anniversary.
“We’re hoping to have a big turnout,” said Tilley-Martin.
At 4 p.m., a parade will take place through the town of Dobson. It will include floats from Surry Central classes and clubs, as well as the school’s marching band and other groups. Lanier is a special participant. Via said this is the first time he remembers having a former principal participate in the parade. The school wanted to do this especially for the 50th homecoming. Each year the school has a parade leading up to homecoming.
After the parade, the school’s booster club will sponsor a barbecue tailgating party. The football game, when Surry Central will play against Bishop McGuinness High School, starts at 7:30 p.m. During half-time, the homecoming court will be presented.
While the school is planning its main 50-year celebration event for the spring, tonight is still an important celebration for the school. School officials hope this year’s homecoming game will continue the tradition of being one of the most well-attended games of the year.
Each year at least one alumni class year gathers at the event. This year, the classes of 1965 and 1990 will attend homecoming. The 1965 class will participate in the parade as well. These classes will have special sections roped off for them at the game.
“It is just amazing,” said Tilley-Martin. “Surry Central has a great tradition of alumni coming back.”
Via believes this homecoming will be in the same spirit of all of the other homecomings.
“It brings a sense of pride, to the students and to the community,” said Via.
The Surry Central football team will have the same mentality at this homecoming game that teams have had at the previous 49 homecomings — play to win.
Although it’s easy to get distracted at homecoming, Coach Monty Southern said of his players, “Once they’re between the lines, they zone in.”
He said the guys are probably a bit more excited since homecoming usually brings the biggest crowd of fans to watch.
“They are playing for the school, and they are also playing for the community,” said Via.
Tilley-Martin said, “Winning on homecoming makes it even better, and that’s what we’re hoping for.”
The school has a variety of activities leading up to the homecoming parade and game. For Spirit Week, students and faculty dressed up for different themes each day. After school today, the students will take part in a pep rally. After the game, the students will have a dance.
“It’s a great week for the students,” said Southern.
Tilley-Martin graduated from Surry Central in 1999 and came back to work for the school in 2004. She has held the position of athletic director since June. She also teaches science.
“It’s been the greatest week,” said Tilley-Martin. She said it’s more fun as a teacher because you get to watch the excitement the students have.
She is excited to see the school pride at the game tonight. Tilley-Martin said, “Every year we’re going to do a great job.”
And she believes this 50th year is no exception.
Contact Meghann Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.