October 21, 2016 marked the Dunellen High School's Annual Homecoming. Members of the court included Shayne Heluk, Landin Morris, Oscar Caballero, Rouland Moya, Yarelen Medina, Madison Watters, Mariah Lopez, and Alyssa Zarzuela. This year, Rouland Moya and Yarelen Medina walked away with the titles of Homecoming King and Queen.
Homecoming was hosted at Columbia Park during halftime in the game against Asbury Park. At the halftime, student council advisor Keith Boyle announced the nominees for the prestigious title of Homecoming King and Queen. Mr. Boyle reads quirky introductions of the nominees, which were written by the nominees themselves. Along with narrating these entertaining stories, he introduced the potential king and queen.
Although the Destroyers lost their homecoming game against Asbury Park with a final score of 41-12, Dunellen folks made their pride evident for the town. Many Dunellen High School alumni attended the homecoming for memorabilia and to show their ‘Destroyer Pride’. After the alumni were introduced, Mr. Boyle announced the winners for the 2015-2016 Dunellen Homecoming king and queen.
Although some nominees were mildly upset about their defeat, they still exuberated the Destroyer pride that is status quo of Dunellen students. After the results were announced, Homecoming Queen nominee Madison Watters stated, “There is so much more to Homecoming than winning. Being nominated is such a honor, and Homecoming court is so much fun.” Fellow nominee, Oscar Caballero, stated afterwards, “It was fun and I want to thank everyone who voted for me.”
After the winners were announced, the King and Queen proceeded to have their pictures taken with proud parents, friends, and teachers, overflowing with emotion, disbelief, and above all, gratitude. Homecoming King, Rouland Moya, stated, “I want to thank everyone who voted for me. I love you guys so much.” Homecoming Queen, Yarelen Medina, stated, “I would really like to thank those who voted for me and for taking the time to vote for me. I try to be nice to everyone and I'm glad people have noticed that.”
Left to Right: Roland Moya & Yarelen Medina, Oscar Caballero & Mariah Lopez, Landin Morris & Madison Watters, Shayne Heluk & Alyssa Zarzuela
Yarelen was asked how she felt on being elected. “I was somewhat surprised because I didn't know people even really knew me. Overall though, I was so happy and proud that someone like me could win such a title. I've never won anything.”
The King and the Queen were elected by all members of the student body of DHS. All students were eligible for voting, even the nominees themselves. The voting took place online, and each student selected the candidate of their choice on a virtual ballot.
The homecoming game was still enjoyable to the nominees, despite their defeat that night. Nominee, Landin Morris, stated, “The Homecoming game was still very fun to watch, I feel honored to have been nominated.”
The tradition of Homecoming was established in the early 1900’s. Although there is some controversy regarding who actually held the first Homecoming event, the credit is usually given to the University of Missouri. In 1911, the university held a football game and encouraged its alumni to attend.
At the conclusion of the homecoming announcements, the Destroyer football team went onward to continue their game against Asbury Park, with proud Dunellen residents-both young and old-cheering them on. Those who attended seemed to have a great time at the event.