Homecoming: past and present at Colonia High School


Photo Credit: Photo via Dylan DaCunha

Pictured is the 2022 Homecoming Court. From left to right are Andrew Faria, Ohm Shah, Patrick Kelly, Matthew Salcedo, Julia Pagnozzi, John Genoni, Gianna Grasso, Kara Mitch, Emma Downes, and Madison Oliveira.

For years, Colonia High School has strictly had a Homecoming football game and that was all. But, students are begging for a dance too.

The origins of Homecoming

Homecoming originally began as a college celebration of the first football game of the season. It is called ‘homecoming’ because alumni would return back to the field to visit their former stomping ground. No one is positive which institution started the tradition, but it is either Baylor University, the University of Michigan, or the University of Illinois in the early 1900s. The fun tradition quickly spread to other schools due to its popularity, including Colonia High School where football is of utmost importance to attendees. Some high schools implemented a dance as a part of the traditions, whereas others have not.

Homecoming traditions

One staple at Colonia High is their Homecoming football game with a king and queen ceremony beforehand. This has been a leading celebration at the high school for over 40 years. King and queen nominees go through a “rigorous” selection process to be considered. The criterion is based on community service, activities in school, grades, and how the individuals are as people. Once the nominees are decided, they are invited to attend the crowning ceremony at the Homecoming football game. The king and queen are selected there. Less than 50% of students believe that current Colonia homecoming celebrations are good.

Colonia has interesting Homecoming celebrations though that the school has done away with. The most notable is the Homecoming Queen nominees riding around the football field in Corvettes. The luxury cars were supplied by the Woodbridge Corvette Club. So why has Colonia gotten rid of traditions like this? Even more so, why does Colonia not hold a Homecoming dance?

The truth is, Colonia High School hasn’t ever held a Homecoming dance. It has never been a tradition within Woodbridge Township high schools. So, this is why the school has never decided to implement one. Other high schools around the state hold these dances such as South Plainfield and Westfield high schools, so why not Colonia?

A sample survey of 91 students was conducted at Colonia High School in order to collect information on Homecoming and dance interests. 80.2% said that they would be interested in a Homecoming dance at Colonia.

Other traditions

Colonia has had other enjoyable traditions that have been done away with as well. A masquerade ball used to be a staple in all three Woodbridge Township high schools around Halloween. Students would dress up in costumes and come together for a night of spooktacular dancing. Multiple senior awards were given at the masquerade for Best Costume, Best Couple, Best Group, and Most Original, just to name a few. Colonia stopped holding this dance in the early 2010s. Almost 60% of students are not aware of the masquerade and other traditions that Colonia used to hold.

Final verdict

Colonia High School currently holds only two dances: Junior Cotillion and Senior Prom. Why? A majority of students are begging for another school dance, especially a Homecoming Dance. Others wouldn’t mind a Winter Formal similar to that of neighboring school St. Thomas Aquinas High. Students are asking for a dance where everyone can dress up and have fun together for the night. This would especially benefit underclassmen, so they don’t have to wait until their upper-class years to feel a part of the school social scene. Over three quarters of students think that a dance other than Junior Cotillion and Senior Prom would have a positive social impact on Colonia students. Some sort of dance, preferably a Homecoming, could positively benefit Colonia High School in so many ways, as it’s what the students are pleading for.