Kennett seals a victory, honors legends and selects student royalty
By J. Chambless
The homecoming court surround the king and queen at halftime. From left are Mary Tuley, Ben Fritz, Emily Taylor, Matthew Jordan, Milady Lagunas, Tegis Ranganath, Sophie Becker, Ryan Barish, Erin Wahlen and Brenden Doherty. (Photo by Chris Barber)
Kennett High School’s homecoming last Friday evening was the model of old-fashioned, small-town bliss.
The day was tinged with just enough coolness to remind everyone that autumn is on its way, but warm enough to relieve them of the need for a coat or jacket. The setting sun added its blessing as it cast a cloudless pink and blue glow over the entire town, until it dissolved in darkness shortly after 7 p.m.
The spirit at the school grounds was upbeat and welcoming as well. Spread out over the evening schedule were a banquet for local heroes, a parade around the block, a homecoming royalty coronation and a football game victory for the home team.
The mood was further heightened by the excitement that, for the first time, the Kennett Demons football team was deep into its season with an undefeated 4-0 record. It turned out that the record would continue undiminished to 5-0 in front of a full-bleacher crowd of Kennett fans and quite a few spectators having driven over from rival Sun Valley to watch their team.
The Sun Valley team members may have been encouraged as they easily put up two first downs at the start of the game. But then Kennett’s black and blue bruising machine cranked into action. In just the first two quarters, Kennett accumulated 34 points thanks to touchdowns by Garrett Cox and Andrew Hertz. The kickers added to the sweetness with a couple of field goals as well.
It was not until the last minutes of the first half that Sun Valley managed a touchdown, but failed to get the extra point and were on the scoreboard with 6.
In the second half, Kalen Frazier and Luke Good scored two more times to put the icing on the cake, bringing Kennett’s final to 48. In the second half as well, Sun Valley added another two touchdowns, bringing the final score of the game to 48-20 in favor of Kennett.
Earlier in the evening at the Legends Banquet, retiring Kennett Consolidated School District Superintendent Barry Tomasetti said he was pleased with the success this year, and added that coach Lance Frazier was an inspiration who cared deeply about the team.
The homecoming game offered more than just athletic entertainment to its audience. During the halftime break, there was the marching band show, the coronation of the homecoming king and queen, and the presentation of the two recently elected Kennett Legends.
Early on Friday evening, the Kennett Consolidated School District paid tribute to two individuals who had made significant contributions to the school and the community. A banquet was held in the cafeteria and was attended by many seasoned veterans of the local athletic community and others who had been chosen for invitation by the awardees.
Leon Spencer, a graduate of the class of 1968, was cited as “a true civic leader.” He was praised for decades of service to the students and community. Spencer is a frequent announcer for Kennett’s athletic events, and has served in leadership positions in the Borough Council and School Board.
Robert Morse, also of the class of 1968, was cited as “the quintessential scholar athlete.” During his time as a student at Kennett, he scored more than 1300 points on the court. He later played for the University of Pennsylvania basketball team, and afterward went on to play basketball professionally at an international level. He is listed as one of the FIBA’s top 50 players.
At the banquet, the two men were presented with facsimiles of plaques that are hanging at the entrance of Legends field in the borough, along with plaques for former School Board member Shirley Annand and former coach/athletic director Nate Kendig.
The homecoming parade was simple and short, modest but nevertheless exuberant.
The route took it around the block in front of the school and concluded with its return as it crossed the Union Street railroad bridge. It included the high school class floats, the band, cheerleaders, the band front, elementary school kids, and the king and queen contestants in convertibles.
At the end, it all glided into the school parking lot lower level and underwent float judging as kids looked on from the stone wall above. The winner of the floats was the junior class of 2021, whose theme was a 1970s exploitation of “good vibes” flowers and bright colors.
The King and Queen
The homecoming King and Queen were nominated and elected by the student body, based in part on their school spirit. They were introduced at the football game halftime from the press box by announcer Spencer.
The King was Tejis Ranganath, and the Queen was Milady Lagunas. The other contestants were Matthew Jordan, Emily Taylor, Sophie Becker, Ryan Barish, Mary Tuley, Ben Fritz, Erin Whalen and Brenden Doherty.