Noli Indian School students began preparing for their homecoming football game on Thursday, Oct. 19 by spending the whole week building floats. The tradition of having each class represented by a float that is towed from the Soboba Sports Complex to The Oaks on game night brought out some creatively decorated displays.
This year’s theme was “Board Games” and each class chose one to highlight with help from teachers and staff in the building process. New this year was a float representing the Noli Booster Club where parents and staff came together on the campus courtyard to decorate their entry that featured the game of checkers. Black and red are also Noli’s school colors so it was very apropos.
Students took turns working on their floats during free periods, nutrition and lunch breaks and some even stayed after school to make sure they met the deadline of 5 p.m. on game day. An added incentive was the fact that a class party would be awarded to the top float, courtesy of the school’s staff members.
The sixth graders of the Class of 2030 chose Scrabble as their board game and created oversized squares with words that meant something to the students. Seventh grade combined the time of year with their game choice of “Operation” as a scary ghoul and lots of red paint depicted a bloody scene. The float created by eighth grade students was chess.
Freshmen selected Monopoly, or rather “Soboba-opoly,” for their game design and with the help of science teacher Jay Dagostino built oversized hotels and houses as well as the familiar Community Chest. There was even a mini jail constructed above the oversized “Go to Jail” spot that was recreated for the float. Jumanji was the chosen theme for sophomores who carried the jungle theme to the truck bed of the vehicle that was towing the float.
Juniors took on The Class of 2025, The Game of Life for their design with each car game piece cutout named for the students. With help from math teacher Kekai Bryant-Williams, Spanish teacher Andrea Duran and AVID tutor Alena Duenas, the group got very creative with their twist on the game. Duenas is also a 2022 graduate of Noli Indian School and helped the students think about careers and other future goals to add to the game spots that wrapped around the entire trailer.
The Class of 2024 created a colorful rendition of Candyland, renamed Seniorland, which was very fitting as candy is thrown out to spectators along the parade route as the floats make their way up Castile Canyon Road to The Oaks football stadium. Students from each class ride on the trailer that their float was built upon and get applauded and cheered on by all the residents who watch them ride by.
Camille Diaz was this year’s Grand Marshal. She has worked as Noli’s school nurse for about eight years and said she was “very honored to have been chosen” and said her role was going to be easy: wave and pass out candy from her seat in the back of her son’s pickup truck.
The top three floats were named at the football game’s halftime event. First place was awarded to 11th grade for Life, second place was 10th grade for Jumanji and third place was 6th grade for Scrabble.
Another highlight of the halftime break was the introduction of the Homecoming Court and naming of the Senior King and Queen which were Anthony Salgado and Luisa Rivera. Other royals who took the field to be applauded were Freshman Sweetheart Girl Nevaeh Ochoa and Freshman Sweetheart Boy Kevin Venegas, who was also the starting quarterback of the game. Also honored were Sophomore Duchess Shawna Rivera and Sophomore Duke Ronald Morillo and Junior Princess Arionna Ward and Junior Prince Daigan Cyhan. Senior Queen nominees were Jasmine Lemas and Nataly Lemas and Matthew Torres was a Senior King nominee. All members of the court campaigned for votes during Homecoming Float Week.
Photos courtesy of the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians and Noli Indian School