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The football season is in full swing. That can mean only one thing. Homecoming!

You can bet there is a lot of hard work put into it to make homecoming among your favorite high school memories.

Most schools begin homecoming with Spirit Week. At Nichols School, the main activities during Spirit Week are the dress-up days, like Decades Day or Plaid Day. On Friday, it's Toga Day for the seniors.

East Aurora High School Student Council President Shelly Koch described her school's Spirit Week as "a crazy event where the classes are judged on their participation."

Pep rallies are usually big events. At Amherst High School, the Friday rally is a chance for the whole school to support their sports teams. This year, the new Step Team performed.

Each class at East Aurora makes a class sign. The sports teams also give a report about how their seasons have gone.

"At Nichols, we have our Spirit Olympics, where the students compete in games like tug of war or egg toss," said Mary Rockwell, the head of Nichols Upper School.

Nichols students kick off their festivities with a one-mile race. Then all the sports teams play their own homecoming game, including field hockey, soccer and girls' tennis. Next is the alumni cookout, which is a great time for the athletes to hang out with their fans. The week ends with the homecoming dance.

Amherst ends classes early on Friday for its pep rally, which is followed by a bonfire. Saturday's events also start early. Representatives from each class gather to decorate their parade floats. The cheerleaders, student council and homecoming king and queen have their own floats, and a prize is awarded for the best float. The football game is later in the afternoon and there is a presentation that honors all the senior athletes at halftime. A dance ends the festivities.

Shelly Koch describes East Aurora's homecoming as "one of the biggest social events of the year."

During the parade, the sports teams that march are judged on their poise and the winners get a money prize. The football game comes next, and in past years a carnival has run simultaneously, with classes setting up booths to raise money. One class got a wrecked car and kids paid to hit it with a hammer. A semi-formal dance is the final event.

Shelly summed up the goal of homecoming when she said, "People who you don't expect to get involved just start going crazy. It's awesome!"

Julie Pace is a sophomore at Amherst High School.

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