Silver City, NM- Back in August, when the Mustang spoke with the Academic Advisor for SAAC, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, she mentioned that one of the goals for the 2016-2017 year was to increase attendance and boost school spirit at WNMU games. If Homecoming 2016 is anything to go by, then that plan has worked out very well.
The parade that kicked off at 9am, traveling down Broadway, through Historic Downtown and then up College Ave, had a large turnout of Silver City community members watching the parade. Old timers and families with children showed up, eager to see the floats and retrieve the candy thrown to them by WNMU students and alumni.
The tailgate, while not as large as last year, still provided a lot of fun, with games and activities from assorted WNMU organizations. The Student Social Work Club had hot dogs and soft drinks for people in attendance, while the Kinesiology Club offered people a chance to throw a pie in the face of students dressed as Batman and Superman, though ASWNMU Vice President Dylan Kester appeared to be the favored target for many participants.
There were also a few alumni at the tailgate and especially in the parade. Thomas Davis, who graduated WNMU in 1958, had run a Hospital in Guam during the Korean War, while 1986 Homecoming Queen Monica Carbajal-Alatorre was on hand to crown the 2016 Queen. One visitor, Kelcie Davis, had never actually gone to WNMU but was merely visiting her friend, Curtis Palacio, a defensive back on the football team.
Kelcie is a History Major from UCLA, who hopes to go into modeling after college. She really appreciated the amount of school spirit WNMU showed, as well as the community involvement and the intimacy of the campus as compared to UCLA.
The game kicked off at 1:30, against Midwestern State University. But the game wasn’t the only reason people were attending. Despite being 33 weeks pregnant, softball player Lacy Granger still braved the scorching heat to not only see the game, but also to support her twin sister Linzy, who was up for Homecoming Queen.
“It’s fun to come out and be with my team and get sunburned,” Lacy said with a laugh.
Also watching the game was Adele Springer, the Executive Administrative Assistant for Academic Affairs who also serves as the Financial Advisor for the Cheer Club. Adele is also an alumni from Western New Mexico University, receiving a BS in Secondary Education in 1996 and a MAT in Secondary Education with Business Management in 2006. She has also worked at the University for 20 years, starting only one week after her graduation.
The fans were alive and spirited at the game, with one student, Michael Gutierrez, leading the crowd in stomping and clapping along to the WNMU Pep Bands rendition of “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. The fans also enthusiastically cheered and praised their team throughout the tense game. Midwestern State University ended up taking the game with a score of 22-43, but the boys definitely made them fight for it.
Homecoming 2016 was a great success, with many successful alumni returning to their alma mater, fun activities for students and community members, and enough school spirit to make the day an unforgettable one.