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King City
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February 8, 2023

King City High’s Homecoming Week culminates with crowning, football victory

KING CITY — The tradition of homecoming rode high this year with all the Mustang activities and celebrations planned for King City High School’s 2022 Homecoming.

The weeks leading up to Homecoming Week, set for Oct. 3 through 7, were full of preparations for the upcoming school dress-up days, dance, rally and parade.

All grades had Homecoming Court signups, campaigning and voting, with the senior class voting for the top five candidates and then the entire student body voting for the winning King and Queen candidate. 

Ultimately, senior students Vincent Vasquez and Kady Umbarger were crowned Homecoming King and Queen, respectively, at halftime during the homecoming football game on Friday.

King City High School’s 2022 Homecoming Court underclassman members (from left): Junior Class Princess Marlene Rodriguez and Prince Alan Alcaraz; Sophomore Class Duke Duke Esparza and Duchess Mia Lopez; Freshmen Class Lord Jake King and Lady Jolea Celaya. (Lauren Domingos)

Homecoming Week dress-up days included white tee lies, Hawaiian, jersey and Mustang pride. All days were well participated by the student body, as well as teachers and admin showing their support, according to KCHS leadership teacher Lauren Domingos.

Wednesday was the semi-formal Hollywood-themed homecoming dance that was “very well attended by over 300 students,” Domingos said.

All week was the build up for the activities of Friday, which started with the homecoming mum delivery that led into the very spirited rally in the gym, followed by the parade and varsity football game.

“All students were pumped up and full of Mustang pride cheering on their classmates,” Domingos said.

Mr. Mustang candidates (from left) Mason Hill, Aidan Caulk, Jace Espino, Angel Arroyo and JJey Martinez huddle together after being announced. They collected pennies all week in order to earn themselves votes, with Espino named the winner. (Lauren Domingos)

The five Mr. Mustang candidates, who collected pennies all week in order to earn themselves votes, were announced at the rally. This year’s Mr. Mustang winner was Jace Espino, with Mason Hill in a close runner-up position. The other three candidates were Angel Arroyo, Aidan Caulk and JJey Martinez.

Espino, a slot receiver, safety and kicker for the football team, is the son of Lorenzo and Denise Espino. His favorite football team is the New Orleans Saints, and after high school he plans on attending Hartnell College.

Hill, whose parents are Diane and Steve Hill, plays offensive tackle for the Mustangs. His favorite football team is the San Francisco 49ers, and he plans on going to college once he graduates from King City High School.

Arroyo, whose mom is Araceli, is the Mustangs’ center. His favorite football team is the San Francisco 49ers, and after high school he plans to attend a trade school. 

Caulk, an inside linebacker and running back on the team, is the son of Lorena and Beau Caulk. His favorite football team is the Denver Broncos, and after high school he plans to attend a four-year university to major in business.

Martinez, whose mom is Martha Martinez, plays quarterback and free safety for the Mustangs. His favorite football team is the Las Vegas Raiders, and he plans to attend a four-year college after high school.

King City High School’s 2022 Homecoming Court gathers at the Hollywood-themed homecoming dance. (Lauren Domingos)

The annual Homecoming Parade rallied down Broadway Street on Friday afternoon, with Mustang football players, cheerleaders, band members and other students, as well as members of the Homecoming Court, in procession before King City’s big game against Watsonville that night.

“The Homecoming Parade down Broadway was a great kickstart to the hype of the game,” Domingos said.

The Mustangs beat the Wildcatz, 35-0, and earned themselves a homecoming victory.

Mustang varsity football players run into the stadium for their homecoming game against Watsonville. The Mustangs beat the Wildcatz, 35-0, and earned themselves a homecoming victory. (Ivan Garcia)

Lauren Domingos contributed to this article.

Ryan Cronk
Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.

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