Student athletes from King City High School wave from the top of a King City Fire Department truck as part of the school’s homecoming caravan March 24 along Broadway Street. (Sean Roney/Staff)

KING CITY — King City High School athletes paraded down Broadway Street as part of a student-organized homecoming caravan on March 24.

The pandemic shutdowns meant alterations to sports programs and the year’s activities, but the adjusted KCHS homecoming in February also came with a cancelation by the leadership class, which prompted students to move ahead with organizing their own community celebration.

Brooke Tidwell and Boston Hicks were the two KCHS seniors, not leadership students, who stepped up to lead those homecoming efforts. Tidwell had been announced as homecoming queen on March 1.

Hicks said students were upset that there were no community events planned to celebrate the homecoming court or for students in general.

“There is always room for school spirit, all it takes is a spark to start the fire,” Hicks said.

“The school did take part in helping decorate and we were in contact with them the whole time,” Tidwell added. “We wanted this to be a time where everyone can show their school spirit and appreciation.”

Alterations did need to take place, such as the rules everyone had to be in their own car or only with their own cohort groups or households. Even with the establishment of rules and coordinating with multiple groups, the students moved ahead with their plans.

“It took a few weeks to get everything planned and situated but in the end we thought it was a great turnout, and it couldn’t have happened without the help of our community,” Tidwell said.

The full homecoming court were seniors Felix Dominguez as king and Tidwell as queen; juniors Bersain Aragon-Vasquez as prince and Clarice Jaime as princess; sophomores Brycee Blair as duke and Brooklyn Monroy as duchess; and freshmen Adrian Hernandez as lord and Samantha Roach as lady.

The King City High School Mustangs mascot waves to bystanders during the March 24 homecoming caravan. (Sean Roney/Staff)

With the pandemic having caused the school year to be entirely distance learning for many students, Hicks said it was important to have an event for morale.

“It absolutely was a lot of work,” Hicks said. “This whole entire caravan was something that we knew had to be done to lift the spirits of students and community members, as well. We have had not one glimpse of a normal school year and we couldn’t let a tradition die, even if it was a few months late.”

Tidwell agreed, saying, “It was important to us because it’s a school tradition and plays a huge role in our town and we didn’t want it to just not happen due to it not being a normal year. We thought the homecoming court should be recognized as well sports and each class year.”

Tidwell said there has been mixed student reaction about eventually heading back to in-person classes.

“Some people like me can’t wait to go back to school, but then there’s others that don’t want to go back at all,” she said. “… We have had no contact with any of our classmates and haven’t been able to make the memories like every other senior or high school students in years past.”

Hicks also heard mixed emotions and opinions about students returning to school in person.

“Many students need hands-on learning as well as assistance,” Hicks said. “Not to mention the comfort of being around your friends.”

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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