As students of Helias Catholic High School entered the parking lot Friday morning they probably noticed a ’94 Chevy Silverado on the sidewalk of the main entrance. Graffiti with the school colors and the names of the students who would be smashing it decorated the pickup. The truck was a key component in the celebration of this year’s Helias homecoming events. Driven by Activities Director, Brad Dempsey, the Chevy led the parade down High Street before finding its final resting place in the student parking lot of Helias, Friday night.
According to Emily Petska, student council member and part of the homecoming court, smashing a vehicle was a homecoming event that has been used before at Helias Catholic.
“The truck smashing was something they did a long time ago and went along with the ‘decades’ theme,” said Petska.
The long-lived tradition of the bonfire may not be gone for good but for this year, location posed a problem because of the construction of the new Helias building.
“We wanted to do the bonfire originally but that didn’t work out,” Petska commented.
One tradition current Helias students did continue, that went off with a bang, was the fireworks show. The fireworks show followed the truck smashing, as it followed the bonfire in years past.
The smashing began with the homecoming queen Luci Francka and her court using several sledge hammers to make the first few dents on the Chevy pick-up. Following that, the trunk was pounded by each senior member of the football team, senior fall athletes and the remaining senior class. The final blows were administered by coaches, faculty and administration. The crowd cheered as the dents became more prominent and truck pieces began to fly through the air.
The smashing of the ’94 Chevy Silverado was exciting to some; however, some students preferred the bonfire.
“I don’t like it,” Hannah Dallmeyer and Allyson Seaton said. “It seemed very anti-climatic. It seemed like it was just for seniors and not anyone else.”
Regardless of their disappointment in the truck smashing, Dallmeyer and Seaton both agreed, “This homecoming is one of the best that we’ve had so far. We really enjoyed the theme.”