BAKER — The Gators had plenty to celebrate this week, as the school smashed Sneads 28-14 in its Homecoming game Friday night.
However, it all started with a series of school-spirit events Friday, as the Gator Growl at Doug Griffith Memorial Stadium led to the Homecoming Parade, which revved the school up for the big game.
“I’m here to see my cousins in the parade and to get some free candy,” Miracle Adkinson, 14, said. Her cousins, Charity Barber and Bubba Ellis, are members of the varsity cheerleading squad and JV football team, respectively.
Students from the Baker football team and cheerleading squads, along with the ROTC and school marching band, rolled down Highway 4 for the procession. Homecoming Court members followed in convertibles while waving and throwing candy to those in the crowd.
For some, the event was a rite of passage.
Preston Taylor, 6, could participate in this year’s parade, unlike years past. Taylor rode on a float with fellow Baker Area Youth Association players.
“I liked being on the float better than being in the crowd,” he said.
Earlier, the entire school gathered at the Baker football stadium for the Gator Growl, during which Principal Thomas Shipp introduced the homecoming parade’s grand marshal, Elaine Cawthon, who had spent her 38-year teaching career at the school.
Cawthon said she still volunteers at the school, from which she graduated in 1968.