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Capturing the beauty of a school united at Homecoming 2016: a photo essay

Friday night football is a classic centerpiece of the high school experience. Animated cheerleaders, gladiatorial football players, and enthusiastic crowds are just a few elements of this beloved American tradition, which never fails to unite and inspire. At Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS), a school of over 4,500 students, though, it’s often difficult to bring our student…
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/tytykwon/" target="_self">Tyler Kwon</a>

Tyler Kwon

November 15, 2016

Friday night football is a classic centerpiece of the high school experience. Animated cheerleaders, gladiatorial football players, and enthusiastic crowds are just a few elements of this beloved American tradition, which never fails to unite and inspire.

At Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS), a school of over 4,500 students, though, it’s often difficult to bring our student body together in support of any single event. That’s why before I went to my first game this past Homecoming on Oct. 21, I wasn’t sure whether my photos would capture the same sense of togetherness and excitement that football games are generally expected to generate.

However, once the game began, my doubts quickly subsided as I was overwhelmed by an intense feeling of school pride and unity. Regardless of whether I was sitting in the stands with my friends or snapping photos on the field, there wasn’t a single moment in which I didn’t feel the thrilling, beautiful energy that only being one with your peers and community can bring about.

I took the following photos on 35mm film in hopes of capturing that energy. Enjoy.

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An encouraging poster hangs on the gate surrounding the football field.

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Coach Jessica Moorehead offers some last-minute advice to the cheerleading team.

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Football players stand along the field with their mothers just before the first quarter.

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VAPA department chair Sarah White conducts the choir in singing the national anthem.

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Prideful GHCHS students stand in the Jungle, the most energized portion of the stadium.

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GHCHS students pose in demonstration of their school pride.

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The school flag waves high above a crowd of students in the stands. At this point, the game is in full swing.

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Members of the cheerleading team pose with the school mascot surrounded by pink pom poms for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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A referee calls the ball dead during the second quarter of the game.

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A band member beats away at the timpani during halftime.

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Students at the concession stand as the game begins to wind down.

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Fireworks illuminate the sky during halftime.