By WESLIE STRATTON
Moapa Valley Progress
Festivities for the 2015 homecoming celebration are set to begin next week. This year’s theme is “Even the Gods wish they could be Pirates.” Activities will take place daily leading up to Friday night’s football game and Saturday’s Homecoming Dance.
A tailgate party will be hosted in the east parking lot by the bus area on Wednesday at 3 p.m. On Thursday the highly anticipated homecoming parade will begin at 5 p.m. immediately followed by a pep assembly in the new gym. On Friday the football team will rival Del Sol at 7 p.m. A Kill Hill Challenge will take place on Saturday morning in the form of a 1.5 mile fun run and 5K. The culminating Homecoming dance will take place on Saturday night from 8-11 p.m. in the Gary Batchelor gym.
Featured in Thursday’s parade will be Homecoming Grand Marshall Ron Dalley who left an incomparable legacy at Moapa Valley High School during his many years as a student and as a teacher.
“We’ve talked about him as a committee for years,” Assistant Principal Pledger Solomon said of Dalley being the grand marshall. “With his list of accomplishments, it was just an obvious choice.”
Dalley graduated from Moapa Valley High School many years ago and then left to attend Brigham Young University.
“I came back and did my student teaching here and they hired me,” Dalley said.
Reminiscing about Homecoming festivities from his days at MVHS, Dalley said that there were many little competitions.
“Classes would go all out and make floats that were really nice,” he said. “We made some of the greatest floats you can think of with what we had to work with. I really enjoyed those days.”
Dalley spent time as a Junior Advisor and said that he had a lot of fun doing that during the days when the school had a little more freedom to continue longstanding traditions. He said that the school has definitely grown since then and that he can see the benefit in that growth. But there have been some negative changes as well, he said.
“I think probably the fact that there’s a lot of litigation, law suits and stuff, some of the activities have been curbed,” he said. “It used to be a good time for the kids. Some changes, I feel bad that they’ve happened. I suppose it’s the nature of the beast.”
One activity that Dalley mourns the end of is M Day.
“We’d load into buses and cars and go out and whitewash the M and then come back and the school would sponsor food and hamburgers and hotdogs. We’d eat and have games and competitions and in the evening we’d have MV Skits.”
Dalley said that he can see that there are some obvious benefits to the changes he’s seen over the years as well.
“Homecoming has really evolved into something that is really good,” he said. “We didn’t have Homecoming until probably the mid 60’s. It has grown and it has been good.”
Dalley said that he recalls the dances being really fun.
“They would have floor show where classes would come out and do little dances and show the girls formals off,” he said. “The boys didn’t like to go out there and dance, the girls loved it. Eventually it just died.”
He also remembers the entire gym being “encased” in crepe paper and decorations.
During his years as a student Dalley played football his freshman year but said that he was such a “scrawny little kid” that it didn’t go over so well. He said that he enjoyed playing basketball, participating in track and being student body president. He also participated in theater which he dubbed as his chief activity in high school.
“I won the drama award in the Senior Assembly at the end of the year,” he said.
Throughout his years as a teacher Dalley’s students won state championships in forensics including debate and public speaking for 12 years in a row. He laughs recalling a revolving trophy that was passed around to championship winners.
“We won the revolving trophy so many times they finally just gave it to us,” he said.
He said that his students did really well in theater and received superior ratings almost every time.
“Those were fun years,” he said. “We were a feared school. They (other schools) didn’t like to come up against Moapa Valley. The kids loved it.”