A homecoming for the decades: Muscatine adapts festivities

2020 Muscatine High School Homecoming King and Queen Togeh "T. D." Deseh and Kaylynn Salyars.

MUSCATINE, Iowa–When planning for one of the most historic homecomings Muscatine Community School District has ever hosted, it seemed only fitting that students chose Dancing Through the Decades as the year’s theme. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way people celebrate events, Muscatine Community School District still found a way to give students a fun time while socially distancing.

To allow hybrid students the opportunity to dress up on their in school days, this year’s homecoming spirit days took place over two weeks instead of just one. The final week of homecoming began with the senior march around the Muscatine High School track and the powderpuff football game Sept. 13 and 14 respectively.

Though smaller than in previous years, the homecoming parade returned as well. With spectators asked to keep at least six feet apart from each other, the homecoming parade followed its traditional path from Grant Elementary School to Muscatine High School. Each grade had their own group or float in the parade, accompanied by the Mighty Muskie Marching Band and Color Guard, the pom team, the cheer team, the varsity volleyball team, and the varsity football team. Everyone on the floats wore a mask at all times because they could not social distance. To keep attendees from crowding, students on floats did not throw candy this year.

Following the parade, homecoming coronation commenced in the Muscatine Community Stadium. There, the members of the homecoming court, Togeh “T. D.” Deseh, Trevor Diederichs, Sophia Emmert, Elisha “Eli” Gaye, Hallie Hanssen, Veyda Matos, Timothy Nimely, Kaylynn Salyars, Joshua Thomas, and Maria Villatoro made their appearance. After performances by the pom and cheer teams, 2019 homecoming king and queen, Joaquin Bobay and Olivia Bastin passed their crowns to this year’s winners, T. D. and Kaylynn.

T. D., a member of the football, wrestling, and track and field teams, thanked both his parents and his immigration sponsors for their support over the years as he grew and thrived in school. He also thanked Spanish teacher Cassie Calderon and Kim Snyder and Teresa Kulick for helping him get on and stay on the right path in school. After graduation, T. D. plans to attend college.

Active in many extracurriculars, Kaylynn participates in softball, volleyball, National Honor Society, Nexus, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and leads the student section. She thanked her parents for their coaching and kindness over the years, and Karey Hawkins for her openness to helping students any way she can. Following high school, Kaylynn looks to attend Des Moines Area Community College to study education and play softball.

The following evening, Muscatine High School played Davenport Central in a home football game (which took place after this newspaper went to press).