By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — Friday night will be a special evening for the Tiger athletics, as it is the Homecoming Coronation event, and many families and community supporters will gather at the football field Friday night to see who will be crowned Homecoming Queen and King. Much will be the same as previous years, with the pep assembly and parade activities being held that afternoon. There will however, be a few changes, as COVID-19 protocols will be in place to protect the health of the public.
NHS will have an abbreviated class schedule that morning to allow for all classes, and the pep assembly begins at noon in the new gym. Family members and other supporters, including alumni, are asked to enter on the northeast and southeast doors of the gym, and also to wear a mask and sit on the east side. The students will sit on the north end.
“We’re trying to keep this as normal as possible. We’re just asking everyone coming in to wear a mask,” said NPS Athletic Director Kevin Engle.
The parade will begin at 2 p.m., with floats lined up on Maple Street, in front Mark Branch Fieldhouse. The parade will move along Ninth Street, and north along Main Street. Supporters may line their cars downtown to watch the procession.
The Coronation will take place at 6 p.m. at the football field. Kickoff with the Oklahoma Bible Academy Trojans will be at 7.
Fans of both teams will experience an exciting event prior to the game, as the Air Evac Lifeteam, stationed at AllianceHealth Ponca City, will land on the field to deliver the game ball.
“Shortly before 7, right after the National Anthem, the helicopter, Air Evac 128, is going to fly in the game ball,” said Newkirk Fire Chief Adam Longcrier. “They’ll land on the 50 yard line.”
The public will not be allowed anywhere on the field for public safety.
“When the helicopter is coming in, we have to keep everyone off the field and endzones. We’re going to have firemen stationed around the track, just for safety purposes,” Longcrier said. “Once they leave, it’ll be business as normal.”
The NPS COVID-19 protocols will be in place during the game. Fans and participants are asked wear a mask, although it is not required. Parking should be on their respective side of the stadium, and correct change is preferred to lessen money handling. For those who want to social distance outside the stands, Newkirk fans can sit in the grass on the north side of the field behind the goal post, and Trojan fans can use the south endzone, behind the goals.
For more information, contact NHS at (580) 362-6241.