The countdown for homecoming is on. This year’s homecoming is a month earlier, rather than its typical date in October. So, with the dance rolling around the corner on Sep. 30, Maclay students are on a mission to find a date. This year, the dance is Wizard of Oz themed, with the creative title of, “There’s no Place like Maclay.” This year’s theme is not the only creative element of homecoming as extraordinary homecoming signs have become one of the most popular ways to ask your date. From asking a friend with a funny sign to writing the words “HOCO?” on your girlfriend’s dog, homecoming proposals are a grand gesture that brings light into the hectic school year. This year, Maclay students have expressed originality when approaching their date for the exciting night. 

The freshman class is eager for their first high school homecoming experience and has come up with some profound proposal ideas. Freshman Blake Brannen made a memorable homecoming proposal to his friend, freshman Macy Cureton. After Brannen’s football game, he asked Cureton with a football with the words, “HOCO?” written across it.

“We became friends this year,” Brannen said. “We’re going with a group of friends and I’m excited.”

The football was also decorated with appealing sunflowers scattered all around, making the proposal more artistic and personal.

“I wasn’t expecting it and I was surprised,” Cureton said. 

Going to homecoming with friends is an unforgettable experience, and while finding a homecoming date can be stressful, going with a close friend is always a great option.

The next homecoming proposal felt like it came straight out of a movie. Sophomore 

cheerleader, Neely Oberste, was asked by junior Varsity football player, Rollins Miller. After Oberste performed an impressive tumbling pass at Miller’s game, Miller approached her with flowers and a sign that said, “I would flip if I scored a date with you… HOCO?”

“I chose the sign because I’m a football player and she’s a cheerleader, and she does flips,” Miller said. “I’m very excited to go with her.” 

Miller’s proposal was original and personal, leaving everyone in the stands excited that a cheerleader and football player would be attending homecoming together. 

“I was surprised when he brought me flowers, and I’m excited to go with him,” Oberste said.

For upperclassmen, this year’s “Night in Oz” is a little different since it’s not their first homecoming dance to experience. As juniors and seniors, they have gotten creative with their proposals. 

Junior Colin Edwards asked his girlfriend, junior Gray Burelson in a very unpredictable and enjoyable way. Edwards wrote the words, “HOCO?” on his dog, and surprised Burleson.

“I was very surprised, I didn’t think he was gonna do it then,” Burleson said. “It was a super original idea and I loved it.”

The duo make quite the comical pair. Rain or shine, Edwards did not let the unpleasant weather get in the way of his proposal. 

“I was a little stressed because my dog wouldn’t stay still,” Edwards said. “The rain really messed it up.” 

Even though Edwards thought the weather would get in the way of the proposal, Burleson loved it either way. 

It’s the last homecoming dance for Maclay’s 2023-2024 seniors. For the concluding proposal, senior Brinkley Snow asked his childhood friend, senior Gracie Koeppel. Snow asked Koeppel with a special sign that included inside jokes between the two. The sign read, “Let’s run back to 7th grade, HOCO?”. In addition, Koeppel is a Maclay runner on the cross country team and the pair even dated back in seventh grade, making the sign ironic. 

“I’m a runner, and we dated in middle school, so the sign was really funny because it had two jokes,” Koeppel said. “I think senior homecoming will be fun.”

The seniors have made many memories in their years at Maclay and are excited for their last homecoming together.

The anticipated dance is almost here, and the countdown is nearly over. Maclay students had limited time to find a date, but they did not fail at creating unique proposals. This year’s homecoming proposals were memorable and can only improve as the years pass by. The Maclay community looks forward to seeing everyone’s proposals and could not be more thrilled to dance the night away at homecoming.