By Marianne Mueller

Hononegah Community High School’s student section displayed loads of spirit during the Purple and Gold Festival.

Hononegah Community  High School saw waves of purple and gold at the 2022 “Purple and Gold Festival” on Friday evening, Aug. 19. This year marked the 28th of the event.

Prior to a parade of fall athletes entering  Kelsey Field, a series of games were played. Inside the field house volleyball games served up great fun. Outside on Kelsey Field all levels of soccer kicked up great fun.

Superintendent Mike Dugan gave a warm welcome.  “Hononegah is celebrating its 100th birthday during this year’s Homecoming,” Dugan said.

Dugan drew attention to a brand new scoreboard. “This scoreboard was a gift from the class of 2022. They were unable to have a prom and they donated the money to purchase it.”

“We have a lot of fun things planned for a huge Homecoming celebration.”

“In October we will have an official dedication to the Hononegah statue,” Dugan said.

HCHS Board of Education President, Dave Kurlinkus opened by saying, “Welcome back home; the home of the Indians. This is the best place with the home of the best student section. “We have new tennis courts and have made all kinds of improvements to the field. He spoke of activities that have been taking place in the field house.

“Everyone here makes Hononegah great. Hononegah  is the best high school in the state of Illinois,”  Kurlinkus added. “Thank you to friends and family. The Hononegah Board of Education adores you. We would be nowhere without you.”

Principal Chad Dougherty thanked parents and students for being at the event giving special recognition to all of the fall athletes, students and a supportive staff.

Dougherty  introduced Board of Education members, Administration, staff and new teachers.

First to be introduced was the Board of Education. President: Dave Kurlinkus, Vice President, Mary Lewis, and  members – Eric Flohr,  Bob Geddeis, Jim Minard, and Evan Schoepski.

In addition to Principal Dougherty and Superintendent- Dugan Hononegah Administration recognized were: Assistant Principal-Kathy Eckmann, Director of Human Services-Kendra Asbury, David Berg-Director of Buildings and Grounds, Justin Krueger, Finance Director, Andrea Linder, Administration, David Lombardo – Administration,  Nicole Nelson – Dean of Students, Cara Pirrie – Assistant  Principal of Student Services, Athletic Director – Steve Cofoid, and Maria Small- Director of Food Services were introduced.

New staff members are: Andrew Walters- Assistant Athletic Director, and Andrew Piske- Director of Technology; both in Administration. New English teachers include Carleen Maki, Kasey Nguyen, Christian Frieden, Josh Martin, and Rebecca Brauns. Christine Regan, Gary Zimmerman and Dan Palmiter have joined the mathematics teaching team. Mason Cheney will take on Physical Education. Amy Dalke, Micheal Weeden, Siobhan Gilligan and Kelly Langhoff comprise a new team of science teachers. Tom Schmidt was welcomed to the Special Education department. Caridad Salinas is a Full Time substitute.

Daugherty pumped up the excitement by leading parents and students in a challenge. The parents side were challenged to yell the word, “purple” as loudly as they could while students yelled out the word “gold.” The volume rose on both sides with each turn that was taken.

Voices came together in a  chant  followed Doughterty’s lead. Dougherty said, “We Are” with the crowd responding, “Hononegah.”

The school song played with Princess Hononegah Gabbie Murphy performed her first routine of the school year.

Before the band played our National Anthem all of who are serving our country or have served our country were asked to stand to be recognized. Loud applause filled the fields and the stands.

All stood with hands over hearts as student Olivia Gardner had sung a bone chilling version of our National Anthem.

Freshmen, sophomore and Junior Varsity cheerleaders performed high-energy routines; some mixing tumbling, dance, jumps, and stunting. Catchy, fun dance routines came to life with the talents of JV, Varsity dance teams and the Indianettes. Different levels of difficulty captured strong attention while watching each high energy routine!

Originally football scrimmages were planned but incoming thunder and rain canceled that portion of Purple and Gold Fest.

Special memories were made as HCHS pumped up the excitement for a brand new school year!

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