Western Presents: Homecoming 2018

Marc Ramirez, News editor

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Western Illinois University students have hit the “game on” button for this year’s annual Homecoming celebration. Set for Friday-Saturday Sept. 28-29, this year’s theme is “Game On: Leathernecks Win It All.”

Friday Sept. 21, Homecoming officially starts with the annual Paint the Paws along University Drive leading to campus. Followed by Paint the Town and a Scavenger Hunt on Sept. 22, Rocky’s Boat Regatta and Chalk the Campus on Sept. 23, Variety Show on Sept. 25, Yell Like Hell on Sept. 27, and Spirit Women’s Soccer Game Sept. 28.

Paint the Paws is an event where the entire Western community comes back to paint over 200 Leatherneck paws across University Drive and Western Avenue, to show all Leathernecks the way back home to Western. With two shifts, the event consists of each team getting a stencil, brush, roller and can of paint to law down the paws of each Leatherneck.

Paint the Town on Sept. 22, is an event where the community goes into town and decorates the windows of each locally owned store to showcase Leatherneck pride all across the city of Macomb. This allows the community to showcase the various talents the campus brings to the community while also showcasing our school spirit.

Rocky’s Boat Regatta the following day is where each team builds a two-person powered corrugated cardboard boat capable of completing the racecourse. The boats will then race one another in a timed heat across a lake located in Everly Park across Lafayette Road. Each boat will be inspected at the end of the race to make sure the boat wasn’t improperly constructed. To be considered a winner both participants must be in the boat when crossing the finish line.

Chalk the campus begins on Sept. 23 and the purpose of this event is to promote Homecoming spirit and create an atmosphere of celebration throughout the campus community. Members from each team will be assigned a section of the Union mall to chalk up to show support of Western’s Homecoming and their team spirit.

Variety Show hosted on the Tuesday of Homecoming week is an opportunity for members of each team and organization to show off the various talents of members within the team. During the routine, each team performs an act that highlights and incorporates the theme of Homecoming and their team.

“I like V-Show because everyone works really hard and we all grow closer through dancing and having fun,” Dustin Brown, Special Events Chairman said. “Being paired and working with different Greek organization also helps us build Greek unity and just have a blast.”

Thursday of Homecoming week, Yell Like Hell, a cheerleading styled competition is hosted. Yell Like Hell is Western’s annual Homecoming pep rally event that sparks excitement for the Leatherneck football team, Western sporting events and the campus as a whole. The Western Cheerleading team kicks off the event with a competitive styled routine followed by the different teams and organizations.

Allison Young, Western Cheerleader, expresses why she loves participating in Yell Like Hell and all the benefits she’s gotten from the experience.

“I enjoy cheering at Yell Like Hell because it gives you the experience to help kick off some school spirit,” Young said. “To start of the beginning of our home games with a big pep rally is always a fun experience and I’m happy to be able to have had the opportunity to participate in it.”

One of the final events before the weekend is the Spirit Day Soccer Game. This year the game will be held Friday, Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. to watch the Fighting Leathernecks Women’s Soccer game. The theme this year is planned to be a purple out, encouraging the Macomb community to wear everything purple to show support for Leatherneck Athletics.

Homecoming weekend is what most alumni and students are also looking forward to. The All Alumni Social will kick off Friday, Sept. 28, from 5-9 p.m., complimentary food, beer, wine and soda will be available, as well as a cash bar for all to enjoy located at the Alumni House. All are also welcome to watch the Homecoming Parade from the Alumni House as it makes its way throughout Macomb. Starting at 8 a.m., Western Alumnus George Baughman ’60 ’67 will lead the parade as the 2018 Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal.

Following the parade alumni and student events will take place at Hanson Field and Q-Lot as the Fighting Leathernecks prepare to take on Youngstown State Penguins. The game is easily Homecoming Secretary and Student Member to the Board of Trustees Justin Brown’s favorite part of the week.

“It’s exciting to be able to see all students, faculty, staff, community members and alumni come together and cheer on the Fighting Leathernecks,”Brown said.

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