Welcoming back alumni to the area and gearing up for Friday's game, Wheeling Park High School kicked off its Homecoming celebrations with spirit at the annual Homecoming Parade Wednesday in downtown Wheeling.
Winding down Main Street, the parade featured the Homecoming court, the school's sports teams and students of all grade levels. The Wheeling Park marching and jazz bands, as well as the Bridge Street, Warwood, Triadelphia and Wheeling Middle school bands performed while marching in the parade.
Following the parade, a sea of red and blue clad students and alumni gathered to cheer on the school's sports teams at Heritage Port. After the Wheeling Park cheerleaders began with their cheers, the Homecoming court was presented by teacher Bill Cornforth.
Photo by Sarah Harmon
WPHS junior Michael Carroll, a leukemia survivor battling neuroblastoma, is presented a check from Emily Megna, ACS Youth Board team captain for Carroll’s “Michael Meanies,” a program to give young sick patients stress balls to deal with difficult feelings.
The Homecoming queen will be announced at Friday's varsity football game against Elkins at Wheeling Island Stadium. The king will be crowned at Saturday's Homecoming dance.
The school's golf, volleyball, soccer, football and cheerleading teams were also recognized at the rally.
WPHS junior Michael Carroll, a leukemia survivor who is battling neuroblastoma, received a special surprise when members of the American Cancer Society Youth Board presented him with an $1,800 check toward developing "Michael Meanies," which are stress balls with angry faces Carroll designed for young cancer patients to use for therapy when dealing with difficult feelings.
"Thank you to everybody. This is going toward a great cause," Carroll said to the crowd. "As I kid I went through cancer, so I know what it's like. It's going to take some time, but I can do it."
WPHS Principal and alumna Amy Minch said she was glad rain that threatened to cancel the events held off for the parade and was happy to see the large turnout for the rally.
''It's a great evening for the community to come out and rally together, show school spirit and support the kids,'' Minch said. ''We're looking forward to continued success in the fall season and a great school year.''