Vikings come home: La Jolla High Homecoming celebrates ‘Ninety Years on Nautilus’


By Dave Schwab

La Jolla High is going nostalgic with this year’s homecoming theme: “Ninety Years on Nautilus.”

Some old letterman’s jackets and faded cheerleader uniforms might come out of the closet, and some well-known faces may come out of the woodwork. But count on lots of memories being recounted and lots of friends reconnecting as alumni return to the campus that counts among its grads well-known business leaders, video game pioneers, a Bronze Star recipient, and famous actors, athletes, musicians and authors.

Homecoming is the first of the yearlong celebration that will include the spring gala, a “Day of the Arts” and the annual golf classic.

Luna Izpisua of the school’s Associated Student Body (ASB) said the Viking Homecoming theme is ‘through the decades’ because it’s the 90th anniversary.

The schoolwide festivities surrounding the football game against Serra High are designed “so that the kids have fun,” ASB president Erik Vanstrum said.

He wouldn’t reveal details but said a special treat is in store for those who turn out for the game, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at Gene Edwards Stadium on campus. The water polo teams face off against Serra, with Varsity at 4 p.m. followed by the Novice team.

The students won’t be alone enjoying the festivities as there’s also the LJHS Alumni Association’s “Viking Alumni Reception” at 5 p.m. in the LJHS Library/Media Center before the game. “We’ll have refreshments, displays of memorabilia and souvenir sweaters and hats,” said Sandy Coggan Erickson Class of ’62. “It’s a way for them (alumni) to visit before the game without having to find each other in the stands.”

And on Wednesday, former and current teachers were treated to a luncheon on campus hosted by the PTA and Alumni Association.

Izpisua, who has been working on the ASB plans, promises decorations for the homecoming dance in the big gym 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday will be in keeping with the theme.

“We’ll have pictures from old La Jolla High yearbooks from the ‘50s and ‘60s as well as homecoming queens from decades ago,” she said.

This year’s king and queen will be crowned during halftime, which also features the traditional parade with class and alumni floats as well as members of the classes of 1956 and 1971.

This year’s parade grand marshals are former Viking Varsity football coaches: Walt Harvey, Dick Huddleston and Dave Ponsford.

A lunchtime pep rally on Friday will have classes competing, cheerleaders doing routines and everyone getting into the school spirit.

Other ASB volunteers organizing this year’s homecoming game and dance include Melanie Lock, Sydney Mcleish, Kika Feune De Colombi, Savanah Harvey, Beatrice Smith, Erin Burns and Daniel Hamilton.

For information on the LJHS Alumni Association go to

; for the LJHS Foundation, go to


Vying for the 2011 crowns

Homecoming king and queen candidates are JC Casteneda, Kevin Cruz, Richard Sharpe and Dillon Cromwell for king and Briana Arias, Lauren Falk, Ellen Latta and Megan Micheletti for queen.