Principal issues shaved-head challenge at bonfire festivities
Tonganoxie High School principal Jamie Carlisle stood atop the THS trailer Wednesday night at the first homecoming bonfire in 15 years and extended an offer the Chieftains football team couldn't resist.
The deal? If Tonganoxie defeats Santa Fe Trail Friday night, a slew of THS administrators will shave their heads. The administration side of the deal includes Carlisle, assistant principal Brent Smith, athletics director Brandon Parker, trainer Mark Padfield, band director Van Middlesworth and THS booster club president Brian Kemp.
Carlisle asked what seniors would take him up on the offer. Every THS football senior at the bonfire stepped on the stage and agreed to shave their heads if they lose. Tonganoxie coach Mark Elston is also part of the deal, on the seniors' side.
"I'm rooting for the football team, regardless of whether it means I'm going to be bald," Carlisle said. "The whole key to all of this is being student oriented. We're going to have a little fun with it."
All THS students will be invited to watch the THS administrators or the THS seniors go bald next week. The shaving will take place at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday at the west campus gymnasium.
"I've had a flat-top, but not the full deal," Parker said of a shaved head. "We hope we're looking different in about a week. We'll be going hat shopping this week."
Administrators estimated 500 to 600 people showed up to the bonfire, which was held in the valley across the THS access road southwest of Beatty Field.
"All I know is that the management's going to lose their hair -- whatever they have left of it," senior offensive lineman A.J. DeMaranville said. "They don't have a whole lot to spare. I know it's precious to the older guys."
The THS booster club offered complimentary hot dogs and bottled water to all who attended.
The bonfire lasted an hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. The football, volleyball, cross country and boys soccer teams were introduced. Seniors from each team encouraged the community to come out to their games. The cheerleading and dance teams were also introduced.
Senior defensive specialist Hannah Herrstrom announced that the volleyball sub-state tournament would be held at THS this season. The last time the Chieftains played host to sub-state was two years ago.
Homecoming king and queen candidates were also introduced. Queen candidates included Herrstrom, Liz Baska, Shannon Carlin, Lindsey Himpel, Christy Weller, Cara Carlisle and Tracie Hileman.
King candidates included DeMaranville, Wes Armstrong, Gabe Belobrajdic, Logan Forbis, Matt Ditty, Drew Scates and Josh Drake.
"When they said my name, I told them to recount it, because I had never been voted in on anything like that before," DeMaranville said. "I guess I have a pretty good shot at winning, but I don't really care who wins. They're all my buddies."
The king and queen will be crowned before Friday's football game at THS. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. against Santa Fe Trail.