Who needs a football team to have a homecoming?
Certainly not Canyon Crest Academy, where students had their first homecoming last week and released the school's new mascot, a giant back Raven named Rupert.
Teacher Tracy Yates said students had been grumbling in previous years that they didn't have a traditional homecoming like other schools. She had to explain there were no alumni yet to really come home.
Now that the first senior class graduated last year, Canyon Crest's homecoming was born.
While a lot of students are away at college and can't return, they've been sending lots of e-mails to teachers and students, Yates said.
Staying in touch
"Our kids are really good about keeping in touch," Yates said.
Since this is the first homecoming, students took a strong hand in making it their own. Associated Student Body President (ASB) Isabelle Giap and her crew got hard to work at making it a week and dance to remember.
"We want to change the meaning of homecoming because it's typically around the football team which we don't have," said Garret Close, ASB secretary. "We wanted to do homecoming CCA style."
"CCA style" meant teachers battled students in a performance of the dance from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video at a Friday afternoon pep rally, with math teacher Brian Shay really getting down.
It meant students wore their pajamas to school on Tuesday and played lunchtime games on Sports Day Thursday, when there were as many San Diego Charger jerseys on campus as there are on Sundays at Qualcomm Stadium.
At their Friday afternoon pep rally, there was no football team to have pep for.
Instead, the girls' volleyball team danced, the girls' tennis team hit tennis balls at their coach Chris Black and the girls screamed when the boys' water polo team came out in school sweatshirts and towels. When they took off their sweatshirts, the screams only got louder.
The boy's tennis and volleyball teams also brought in their 2008 Coastal League championship banners, the first to be hung in the gym.
Friday's dance at the Del Mar Marriot had a theme of "The Twilight Zone" with fog machines and black lights, with attendees encouraged to wear an array of the colors lime green, purple, silver and black. No dates, no corsages, no stretch Hummers.
"We don't promote any of our dances to be date dances," said Giap, noting they place the emphasis on just coming together and having a good time.
And no homecoming king and queen either.
No, CCA style meant that instead of students, the campus would crown teachers as their king and queen.
At Friday's rallies, the candidates were announced - social science teacher Timothy Stiven wore his Clairemont High School letterman's jacket and world languages teacher Shea Starr wore an '80s prom dress.
The winners, decided by applause, were social science teacher Bradley Spilkin and performing arts teacher Rayna Stohl, who won over the audience by walking almost the entire length of the gym floor on her hands.