It’s homecoming week at Gardner Edgerton High School. As residents and businesses are painting the town ‘Blazer blue and white in anticipation of the annual tradition, alumni and former residents are pouring into town to take part in the celebration.

Chris Everly is pictured in 1966 after earning the title of Gardner High School Homecoming Queen. She was escorted by Ike Sisemore during halftime of a football game between Gardner and Louisburg High School. Her attendants were Judy Fruend, Marie Rush, Linda Eastland, Joyce Huston, Denese Neighbors and Patty Kneedler. File photo

Traditionally, homecoming is built around a central event – and that’s no different in ‘Blazerville. This year, the GEHS varsity football team is will take on Blue Valley Southwest.

It’s tough to say when the first homecoming celebration nationwide occurred. According to a number of sources, including the NCAA, Trivial Pursuit, and Jeopardy!, the University of Missouri gets credit for starting what’s become a nationwide fall tradition for a 1911 football game in which alumni were encouraged to attend.

However, the MU Tigers homecoming celebration can be traced even further back to 1891 and a the first Border War between the school and the University of Kansas Jayhawks in Kansas City, Mo.

The GEHS homecoming tradition has changed over the years. At one time, the homecoming candidates at GEHS wore suits rather than formal attire. From time to time, the school hosted homecoming parades down Main Street in town.
The inclusion of a GEHS Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is a newer tradition. The school’s hall of fame was created in 2000 to pay tribute to former athletes, teams and coaches whose achievements brought honor to the school and community. This year’s inductee is Gregg Plank. He’ll be honored during the game and at an induction ceremony on Sunday.

Although the traditions at GEHS have grown and changed, the sentiment remains the same. It’s homecoming week at GEHS, and alumni and friends will be on hand for the event.

Welcome home, ‘Blazers.