Green and gold pride
Downtown Rockingham transformed during annual Homecoming Parade
by Kevin Spradlin Richmond County Daily Journal
ROCKINGHAM — Sherry Tetreault was beaming.
For the first time in recent memory — if ever — there was to be a majorette marching in the annual Richmond Senior High School Homecoming Parade. That baton twirler happened to be her daughter, Adison.
“I’ve never known … if they have, it’s been a long, long, long time,” said Tetreault, who had a front-row seat near the intersection of East Washington and Randolph streets in the first block of the parade route, which stretched approximately a quarter-mile down to Harrington Square.
Tetreault said Adison has been taking lessons in Wadesboro and worked hard to become good enough to be included in the event. Adison demonstrated her talent to the Richmond Senior High School cheerleading coach and the job, albeit unpaid, was hers.
The parade was led by Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly and Grand Marshal James Clemmons Jr., sheriff of Richmond County. They were followed by the Richmond Senior High School Color Guard and the Richmond County Honor Guard, along with the RSHS Junior ROTC Cadet Corps with 167 members marching in cadence.
Sgt. 1st Class Eric White, retired, helped lead the unit through the event, which featured a favorable weather with a temperature of 71 degrees and clouds. White didn’t seem worried if the sun might come out. His cadets are disciplined, he said. They learn that from Junior ROTC.
The program, White said, offers discipline and structure. It’s something he personally feels every high school freshman would benefit from.
“There’s no color, no nothing,” White said of differences being laid aside. “We work as a team. We’re all cadets.”
The units in the parade included: from RSHS, varsity cheerleaders, SADD/TRU, TAS/Skills USA, marching band, junior varsity cheerleaders, FBLA, Art Club and National Honor Society; the Ellerbe Middle School cheerleaders; Leak Street Elementary’s “God Bless the USA”; the Rohanen Middle School cheerleaders; the Hamlet Middle School cheerleaders; and the Ninth Grade Academy’s varsity cheerleaders.
All 27 members of the Homecoming Court, each driven in well-maintained vehicles that elevated them above the crowd, were interspersed among the parade entries, which are limited to school-related groups. Members included Kivana Keane, Asiana Douglas, Jasmine Hart, Madison Eteo, Cailey Freeman, Breanna Everett, Favy Francisco, Taylor Ash, Bailey Dawkins, Shanieya Flowers, Cherie Ellerbe, Alyssa Lee, Lexus Thomas, Shaquail Wall, Heather Henry, Jessika Smith, Mackenzie Barnes, Casey Grant, Kaylee Gathings, Briana Ingram, Shalayna Leake, Darshema Townsend, Brianna David, Katie Aiken, Asha Alvarado, India Fields and Brianna Gerald.
The parade ended with a pep rally at Harrington Square and ended in time for everyone to get to Raider Stadium to watch the RSHS Raiders take on the visiting Purnell Swett Rams.
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