Photo: Center High School’s homecoming game against Excelsior Springs will be played on newly installed field turf.
Center’s Got Game: Homecoming goes virtual
By Tyler Schneider
The opportunity to experience Homecoming festivities in the traditional sense may just be out of reach for high school students in the age of Covid-19, but South Kansas City’s Center School District is making a strong effort to deliver the best possible alternative for the students and faculty who are currently attending a fully digital fall semester..
To set the stage for Friday’s Homecoming football game against Excelsior Springs, the traditional Spirit Week has gone viral using the hashtag #GotGameCSD — in honor of this year’s theme: “Center’s Got Game.” Starting on Monday, CHS students and faculty have been encouraged to share pictures of their themed outfits via social media.
All of this will come to a head on Friday at 1 p.m., when a virtual pep rally will be held via Microsoft Teams that will recognize seniors and get students excited for the game later that evening.
“Planning Homecoming in the middle of the pandemic has certainly been a little different, and there will be a lot happening very quickly heading into Friday’s festivities” Center School District’s Director of Public Relations Christina Medina said. “We are reimagining how we can create an exciting virtual spirit week and pep rally. So far, we’ve had great engagement so far on social media, with a lot of people dressing up, posting and tagging one another.”
Friday’s game will feature a rather exclusive count of just 100 physical spectators — or 50 tickets per team — when kickoff begins at 7 p.m. In order to preserve the enthusiasm for both the game itself and the accompanying senior recognition ceremony held to honor in-season student athletes on the football, cross country, men’s soccer and women’s tennis teams, Center has established a brand new partnership with LTN Niles Media Group to broadcast the game on ESPN3.
A group of Center high school students involved with the Real World Learning Initiatives sports broadcast and marketing program will work with program coordinator and teacher Steve Parker to bring the game to life for those who tune into the broadcast virtually. These students will spend the days leading up to the game practicing with local professional broadcasters and referencing similar programs that have already been in place at nearby schools in Liberty and Kearney.
“Overall, this is a new experience for everyone, so some things may be a little bumpy this week. But, at least with the capacity limitations, we’re thrilled to be able to offer access to the game and keep the spirit of Homecoming alive as best we can for our students,” Medina said.
To join the virtual pep rally Friday, September 18, at 1 pm, click here: https://t.co/xb3TQydA6U?amp=1
Here’s how to view the game from ESPN 3:
To watch on ESPN3, fans will need to get the ESPN APP. Click on the WATCH tab once you open the ESPN APP. You will be directed to the LIVE WATCH section of the ESPN APP. Scroll down to the bottom of the LIVE WATCH page until you see the CHANNEL section. Click on the ESPN3 icon and you will find the icon noting the September 18 High School football game between Center High School and Excelsior Springs. Click on that game link to watch the game LIVE in its entirety.
Livestream on HIVETVCHS
Center High School will also Livestream the Pre-game Senior Night recognitions and game on its HIVETVCHS YouTube Channel: Starting at 6:00 p.m. To watch visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/MrParkers3