Newman University celebrated Homecoming Week from Feb. 5 -10 with a week's worth of fun, entertainment and Jet spirit. Each year in February, Jet pride is felt all around campus as students celebrate together.
Newman's Got Talent
It all started with the Newman's Got Talent contest Monday night in the De Mattias Performance Hall. Singers, dancers, actors, comedians and athletes took the stage to show off their talent while competing for a $250 first place prize.
A large crowd of supporters gathered in the auditorium to cheer on their favorites while a total of 11 acts entertained the audience and four judges. This year's judges were Morris "Mo" Floyd, Lisa DeLoach, Janice Esses and senior Claire Setter.
Sophomore Sadie Korte and her twin sister Brittny tied for third place for their duet. Sadie sang lead while Brittny played guitar and sang back up. Their co-winner was Everette Johnson for his rendition of a popular rap song.
Second place went to singing duo sophomore Martina Viale and junior Dakotah Heard for their duet in which Martina sang in her native Italian language.
And the winner of first place was freshman Keean Bush after singing "Reflection" from Disney's "Mulan." Keean is a theatre and English major and also sings tenor for the Newman University Chorale.
"I wasn't expecting it, but I'm very excited and very flattered that I won," said Keean. "I've known that song for years and have performed it multiple times. This particular song has very special meaning to me and I love singing it at performances."
In the spirit of homecoming week, Graduate Assistants Devin Smith and Jordan Frederking teamed up with Director of Residence Life Scott Mudloff to bring a night of trivia, prizes and pizza to Newman students.
Five teams faced off for a tableful of Newman-themed prizes and gift cards. Participants answered questions ranging from history, science and pop culture to Newman, sports and food.
"[We had] phenomenal questions and an even greater team," said junior Brandon Steiner, of the "Kickin' these Chickens" team. "We may not have won the overall prize, but we won most team spirit."
The 'Thique Clique" was the winning team of the night — composed of students Madison McCollum, Claire Setter, Anthony Navarrete, Xime Name, Jacob Isaacson and Regan Casey.
Pep Rally and Bubble Soccer
Late Wednesday evening, students and players gathered in the Fugate Gymnasium to get pumped and pepped for the Homecoming game the night to follow.
Head Cheer and Dance Coach Brandy Muncy, armed with energy, enthusiasm and patience, taught the student section the cheers to be chanted at the men and women's basketball games. Students swayed from left to right with their basketball booklets in hand, did "the wave" as a group and sprinted onto the court to create a tunnel for the sports members to run through.
As a reward for their participation, students and players enjoyed some pizza and ice cream.
Bubble soccer immediately followed at 10 pm. Those brave enough to undergo the intensity of the game provided entertainment and laughs for all students and staff in the stands. Mudloff even took a shot at it, playing goalie for his team.
"The pep rally had a lot of energy and it was cool to see all the basketball people before the game," said senior Makaylah Perkins. "As for the bubble soccer, that was real intense, and was a great 'pump up' for homecoming."
The Big Games
The festivities peaked as the big homecoming basketball games took place on Thursday night. The lady Jets kicked things off with their battle against St. Mary's Rattlers. The first half started off with a bang, but in the end, the women fell to the Rattlers in a 38-52 loss.
Women's Head Coach Darin Spence reflected on the game.
"We didn't play our best and had a poor second half, missing a lot of shots," he said. But the ladies will have their chance to rally when they face Texas A&M International on Saturday, Feb. 10 for their Senior Day game at 1 p.m.
The men faired a little better Thursday night with their 81-68 win over the Rattlers. In a game filled with 3-pointers, the Jets soared into not only another win for the season but a tie for the No. 1 spot in the Heartland standings.
But the games weren't the only thing taking place on the court.
The Newman homecoming king and queen were announced at a half-time ceremony during the men's game.
Senior Delaney Hiegert was crowned this year's Newman homecoming queen and senior Jacob Hobbie, king. The two celebrated right after the big announcement with a hug and tons of photos before Hiegert had to rush out and hit the road with her Newman softball team.