From beginning to end, the 2019 La Jolla High School Homecoming game promises to an exciting one. When the Vikings take on the Morse High School Tigers, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11 on home turf at 750 Nautilus St., festivities will include an alumni celebration, class floats and naming the Homecoming Court.
Celebrations begin at 5 p.m. with a “walk down memory lane” for grads at the school library, where past yearbooks and memorabilia will be on display. Those with photos or items to show can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to have them included. There will be also be a “Reserved Alumni Seating” area for the game itself.
Having the alumni and community there to cheer the Vikings on to victory will add fuel to the team’s fire.
“We love the excitement that comes from having the alumni back,” said varsity football coach Tyler Roach. “This is my third year as head coach, having been with the program for six years, and I’ve seen how the boys feed off the community support and school support. Having people there on Friday nights has paid dividends. We had huge wins against Mission Bay and Santa Fe Christian earlier this season — and both games had huge crowds. So I encourage the community to keep coming out. Homecoming is going to be a fun time.”
The fun continues at Halftime, when class and club floats designed by students will make their way around the track and the Homecoming King and Queen (also known as the Vi-King and Vi-Queen) will be crowned.
Homecoming Court members will be announced to students this week. As Associated Student Body Advisor/Grad Coach Cathy Hutchins told the Light: “We will have a Pep Rally on Friday, during an extended lunch period, where the freshman, sophomore and junior Homecoming Court winners will be announced and introductions to the spring varsity sports teams will be made.”
As for the big game, Coach Roach acknowledges the match-up with Morse will be a tough one. With a season record of 4-1, to La Jolla’s 2-3, he said the boys are fired up to take on last year’s San Diego CIF winner.
“The big thing is they are physical and fast, so we are going to have to match that,” he said. “We’re going to play disciplined and smart, not turn the ball over, and force them into some situations where they make mistakes. We hope to balance things out and take advantage of opportunities wherever we can.”
And for every man on the field, this game is a vital one.
“For our seniors, many of whom have played for a few years, it’s the last Homecoming game, so there’s a lot of energy. These guys will be fired up and the rest of the team will rally behind them,” Roach said.
“And we have a lot of young guys on offense that will be a focal point for us. They are working on consistency and making sure they are successful.”
Consistency being key. The Vikings are on a bye week right before Homecoming, and will take advantage so they can regroup and refocus their efforts.
Currently in the midst of a “roller coaster season,” Roach said the Vikings have had “some strong highs and frustrating lows.” La Jolla lost its season-opener against The Bishop’s School, won the next two games against Mission Bay and Santa Fe Christian, and then narrowly lost the next two games against Del Norte and Scripps Ranch.
“We want our guys prepared and regaining that confidence from a few weeks ago,” Roach said. “And what I love about this team so much is that they are optimistic and it is such a tight-knit group. They believe in each other. After two losses, you expect some finger-pointing, but that hasn’t been there. It’s a good thing that they have each other’s backs. We are going to keep growing. We’re in a good place and going to continue to get better.”
And though Roach has eyes on a title with his “battle-tested” team, the Vikings have to win Homecoming first.
“We’re really amped,” he said.
Beaumont’s Eatery will host an Alumni Mixer, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 5662 La Jolla Blvd., with no host bar and hosted appetizers. RSVP by Oct. 13 to (858) 459-0474.
“With La Jolla High’s 100-year anniversary coming up (in 2022), we are trying to get a broader outreach for all LJHS alumni,” said volunteer Megan Heine. “To that end, we are collecting e-mails, updating alumni profiles and generating interest and participation in the 100-year festivities!”
IF YOU GO: The La Jolla High School Homecoming game is 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11 at 750 Nautilus St. Tickets $7 at the gate.