Despite no game, homecoming festivities carry on

Senior Isabella Jade Morales participates in the Marfa ISD Homecoming parade prior to being crowned Marfa High School’s 2019 Homecoming Queen. “I love being in the parade,” she toldThe Big Bend Sentinel. (photo by Maisie Crow)

MARFA — The mood outside Marfa schools was bittersweet Thursday afternoon as king and queen candidates prepared for their final homecoming parade.

The homecoming game was canceled, after Immanuel Christian School in El Paso backed out due to a lack of players. School officials weren’t able to find another team to compete in time, but the other regular festivities went on as planned.

Marfa High School football player Jordan Rodriguez

Besides, many students had their minds on other things besides football. Isabella Morales, a 17-year-old senior, was getting her queen-candidate float ready. She was “very excited and very nervous,” she said.

“I love being in the parade. I also love senior skit,” she said. “It makes me a little sad saying that.” This was her last homecoming.

Down the street, queen candidate Samantha Jimenez was also getting her float ready. Her mother Rosemary watched on.

Adonaka Marquez gets some help with her sash before walking onto the field during the Homecoming ceremony.

Alyanna Hernandez spritzes herself with perfume prior to the Homecoming ceremony on Martin Field. Hernandez was crowned princess.

Family and friends fill the stands before Marfa’s Homecoming ceremony.

Rosemary was already proud of Samantha — never mind the results of the student contest. “She’s already my queen,” Rosemary said. “It doesn’t matter.”

The homecoming parade soon set off down West Lincoln and Highland streets. There were floats for candidates, school clubs and administrators. As some floats tossed candy, happy young children collected sweets and put them into ever-growing satchels. The floats turned right and looped back to the school.

Back on campus, John Sherrill, the high school principal, was dressed in a suit. “I get to crown a king and queen,” he told The Big Bend Sentinel with apparent delight.

Standing on the football field as Marfa students and family watched on, Sherrill crowned the winners: Bryan Torres as prince, Alyanna Hernandez as princess, Aron Guzman Morales as king, and Isabella Morales as queen.

Annaka Salcido, Loretta Rivera, Kayla Vasquez and Tenessa Hinojos Leyva relax in the bleachers at the Homecoming pep rally.

Ummi Chanez holds a bouquet of roses prior to the Homecoming ceremony on the football field. Marfa High School cheerleaders presented the prince, princess, king and queen with roses.

Isabella Jade Morales being crowned Marfa High School’s 2019 Homecoming Queen.

The best part about homecoming, many students said, is the senior skit.

This year the skit started as a group of kindergarten through third-grade students climbed into a school bus driven by Arturo Alferez, a social-studies teacher, senior sponsor and head football coach.

Alferez drove the bus slowly around the field track behind Marfa schools. And then — as the crowd laughed — he got out and held a sign reading, “12 years later.” Instead of young children, the senior class walked out.

To the voice of a narrator, seniors acted out memories from their years together at Marfa schools. There was the time a teacher sat on Ruben Watts-Ortiz’s glasses and Watts-Ortiz didn’t want to say anything. There was the time Aron Guzman Morales walked home from school during the day, causing a panic.

Senior Tais Chanez carries her baby, Emmanuel, off the field after he made a quick appearance in the senior skit.

Burning of the M

In the bleachers, a pair of small girls danced, quietly reciting one of Marfa’s school chants:

“F-I-G-H-T / Fight / For victory!”

At the end of the senior skit, the seniors unrolled a banner. “We ♥ our family,” it read. “Nosotros ♥ a nuestra familia.”

Then, the seniors on the field started their own chant:

“Adios amigos / Adios my friends / Hasta la vista / Until we meet again.”

On Friday night, there was a dance.