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Through the heart of the city

Parade rolls down A Avenue to celebrate Lake Oswego High School's homecoming

FOR THE REVIEW: ADAM WICKHAM - The four class floats were each created to represent a city. The senior float, representing Tokyo, features, from left, Godzilla with samurai Alex Shakerin and Drew Jackson.Not every city has a high school that puts on a huge homecoming parade in the heart of downtown.

Lake Oswego has two.

Lake Oswego High School’s homecoming cavalcade marched down A Avenue last Friday, while Lakeridge High will get its chance at 2 p.m. this Friday. The events are similar, with a stream of school colors and upbeat band music filling the air, and enthusiastic spectators cheering from the sidewalks.FOR THE REVIEW: ADAM WICKHAM - Cheerleaders Sophie Bauer, left, and Danielle Smith help inspire some school spirit during the parade.

“It just fosters that bond between the community and the school because we’re present,” said Keon Feldsien, president of the LOHS Associated Student Body.

Feldsien was thrilled that the grand marshal this year would be longtime LOHS supporter Charley Cobb, who has donated lots of dollars to replace the stadium cover, install energy-efficient lights at the tennis courts and support the Spirit Store, the wrestling team and the band.FOR THE REVIEW: ADAM WICKHAM - Drummer Spencer Brown, a junior, keeps the beat to 'The Victors' as the band comes marching in the parade.

“We wanted to both feature him because of (his generosity) and thank him in this way, and show him where his contributions are going,” Feldsien said.

Cobb, whose sister Marian Cobb McAndie and athlete sons Matt and Michael attended LOHS, said the school needs the financial support, so he helps as much as he can. He was delighted to be chosen as grand marshal, he said, because travel plans kept him from accepting the role last year. Feldsien said parade organizers asked earlier this year to make sure he could join the parade.FOR THE REVIEW: ADAM WICKHAM - Associated Student Body officers hitch a ride on the Lake Oswego Fire Department's 1923 GMC, which was the first motorized vehicle in town, according to Gert Zoutendijk, fire marshal. Seated in the front was 12th-grader Cher Feng with the driver, firefighter Troy Waddell.

“It’s an honor, because I’m just another person in Lake Oswego,” Cobb said. “I’m not anything special.”

Cobb agreed that such a big homecoming parade is “definitely unusual, but so’s the graduation rate.” The Lake Oswego School District had a four-year graduation rate of 91 percent overall last year (the most recent data available), compared to 74 percent statewide.

In addition to Cobb, the parade honored the Lakers' homecoming princesses — three seniors and two students from each of the other grade levels: seniors Iola Humphrey, Emily Reno and Mahtaab Sanaee; juniors Emma DeVine and Erin Xu, sophomores Claire Cranch and Cami Peddie; and freshmen Devi Charlton and Zeina Naboulsi.PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: COREY BUCHANAN - Senior Emily Reno was crowned homecoming queen at halftime of the Friday football game, with her father, Cal Reno, at her side. The two senior princesses were Iola Humphrey and Mahtaab Sanaee.

Reno was crowned homecoming queen at the school's football game Friday night.

Reno, like Feldsien, said the parade brings the community together. She said she also loves that so many people have a role to play, whether it’s in the parade or as a friendly spectator.

“It’s nice to be a part of something,” she said. “Everyone wants to be a part of something.”

Junior Jordan Newlin, a wide receiver on the football team, felt the same way about that sense of belonging.

“We’re all one big family,” he said.FOR THE REVIEW: ADAM WICKHAM - School mascot Pilot Joe's true identity must remain sub rosa.

There was a sense of togetherness, especially in light of a recent loss at the high school. Many students and staff members were clad in purple T-shirts in honor of a "purple out" day, when the school sought to support and recognize pancreatic cancer research. On the back, the shirts said "In Loving Memory of Casey Dunn," an LOHS math teacher who died of pancreatic cancer Aug. 19.

There are some people who will soon be leaving the Laker family. For the 12th-graders, Friday's march was their final parade. The air smelled like rain, but they were spared precipitation during their last hurrah.

Senior Sophie Bauer said she has been in the parade as a member of the cheer team since she was a freshman. FOR THE REVIEW: ADAM WICKHAM - The Lake Oswego water polo team shows some school pride.

“It’s nice to be able to do it one last time to wrap up four years,” said Bauer, now the cheer team co-captain.

Band member Jeya Anandakumar, also a senior, felt much the same way.

“I’m excited, but also a little sad,” said Anandakumar, a flutist, who added that she loves the chance to perform for the whole community. The band always plays “The Victors" for the parade, she said, a tune she now has memorized.FOR THE REVIEW: ADAM WICKHAM - The boys cross-country team gets ready to march in the parade.

Another senior enjoying one final parade was Gracie Ketterling. The co-captain of the dance team said she likes the parade just the way it is and always has been.

“It doesn’t change, and that’s what I like it,” Ketterling said. “It’s very traditional, and it’s the same thing every year.”

Contact Jillian Daley at 503-636-1281 ext. 109 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..