The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Georgie Kulczyk
The Courier 

Coronation and Crawling Crowds: Homecoming in Glasgow

Scottie Boys and Girls Wipe Out the Wolves in Football and Volleyball


Lih-An Yang / For The Courier

Receiving the royal treatment during the homecoming parade, homecoming king Ethan Etchart (R) and queen Tavia Fairclough (L) are chauffeured by Etchart's father Paul & grandfather, Mitch. Also pictured is crown bearer Amelia Gilchrist.

Homecoming weekend in Glasgow is steeped in tradition. Scottie pride is unequaled. You could argue that point, but you wouldn't win.

Preparations for homecoming started early in the week – earlier if you count float construction or collecting fuel for the bonfire. Businesses also start decorating their establishments – mostly to support the Scotties, but also with the hopes of being awarded best homecoming window display from Glasgow's Chamber of Commerce.

The more intensive preparations started with the painting of Scottie Pride drive. Each year you will find dutiful moms and dads painting entire football, volleyball, cross country, and cheer rosters on the pavement. It's okay. It's all perfectly legal. This year, the parents included a tribute in the form of a giant "Rock On" painted near the entrance to the GHS parking lot. The tribute was in recognition of Wayne Shipp, who touched and inspired many with his valiant fight against cancer. Daresay, it overshadowed all of the other art leading to and from the school.

Throughout the week at area schools, students participated in "spirit week" and attended pep assemblies. By mid-week, GHS students were ready for the car parade, the bonfire, and the homecoming dance.

Each year, homecoming has a theme, and it sets the tone for most of the festivities. This year's theme was "Wipe out the Wolves." Likely, there was a wolf in one form or another symbolically tossed into the bonfire as motivation for the weekend games. The homecoming dance followed the bonfire and with a "Mad About Plaid" theme, there was probably plenty of flannel worn that evening.

Friday was a big day, with coronation held at the high school. This year, the school invited Steve Bell, a true Scottie fan and supporter, to be the keynote speaker. During his speech, Bell complimented the band, the choir, and the school's Speech and Drama team. He also praised the cross country team and the progress made over the years for girls in sports. When it came time for him to talk about the upcoming football and volleyball games, Bell made it perfectly clear what was expected – victory. He even predicted the Scotties would win the football game by three touchdowns. He was almost right. Glasgow defeated the Wolves 42-6.

Coronation this year was a bit more meaningful than in past years. The GHS student body quietly but purposefully nominated and chose their beloved friend Tavia Fairclough as homecoming queen. Fairclough was born with Down Syndrome, but that doesn't stop her from being involved in school activities or capturing the hearts of her classmates. Outstanding senior athlete Ethan Etchart was named homecoming king. The winners were ceremoniously crowned by 1984 Scottie Royalty Candy Dahl and Sam Knodel. The other royalty candidates were Abbi Kolstad, Alex Simensen, Logan Gunderson, and Trevor Toavs. The crown bearers were the adorable Amelia Gilchrist and the handsome Ian Anderson.

Although the obvious highlight of coronation is the crowning of the king and queen, the Scottie Band and Swing Choir ensured there was more than one reason to attend with the traditional presentation "Tunes of Glory" and a haunting rendition of "Scotland the Brave."

The annual homecoming parade was nearly waylaid due to poor weather, but when spectators began lining the streets and gathering on the street corners with umbrellas in hand, I knew there would be a parade – rain or shine. Although the parade is meant for the younger generations, adult participation is high and adult spectators have been observed pushing others out of the way for candy and smiling with excitement at the sound of the fire truck sirens.

A favorite tradition for young and old is the The Saskatoon Police Pipes & Drums and dancers. The band comes from Saskatchewan and spends three days in Glasgow performing for the community. They were featured during the parade, at halftime of the football game on Friday, Saturday for the volleyball fans, during the pub crawl, and at the Sunday morning pancake breakfast.

Arguably, the biggest event of the weekend was the Friday night football game, which was kicked off by a tailgate party hosted by the Scottie Booster Club. This year, the Scotties faced the Wolf Point Wolves on the gridiron. Radio personality Stan Ozark announced the game on KLTZ/KLAN for those who couldn't bring themselves to attend the game in person.

Another Scottie tradition is the firing of the Elks cannon each time the home team scores. I'm pretty sure the cannon can be heard no matter where a person lives in Glasgow. I'm also pretty sure I'm not the only one who gets goosebumps when it's fired.

Saturday, it was time for cross country and volleyball to compete. The cross country team traveled to Havre and endured horrible weather during the meet. Despite the harsh conditions, the girls brought home third place and the boys captured second. Volleyball action started early in the afternoon and continued until about 5:30 p.m. The Scotties again were matched up against the Wolf Point Wolves, and although it took a while for the Scottie girls to warm up, they managed to defeat the Wolves in four games.

A good indicator of the school spirit that is prevalent throughout GHS is the tradition of singing the school song after sporting events. Typically, at football games, the football team gathers in front of the home crowd and leads everyone in the school song. That tradition has recently spilled over to the volleyball games and demonstrates a positive trend of school pride and athletes supporting their peers. The student sections this past homecoming weekend were full, loud, and proud.

Saturday night, the homecoming festivities took a more adult turn with the annual pub crawl. The Saskatoon Pipe Band meandered from establishment to establishment and played for the people of Glasgow. At one point, the three dancers from the pipe band were atop the bar at the Montana Tavern on Glasgow's famous Front Street. Again, it's all perfectly legal.

Sunday morning, the homecoming festivities came to a close with a pancake breakfast hosted by the Glasgow Kiwanis Club. The pipe band performed one last time before heading home.

All in all, Glasgow had a safe and successful homecoming full of festivities and tradition. If you ever doubt the lengths of Scottie pride or the power of tradition, check out social media throughout the week. #scottiepride, #gtown, #tradition, #scottiesaretheultimateteam, #hoco2k15.


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