The Heritage Academy homecoming game was unique this year, not only because of how many players were on the field, but also because Heritage decided that it would field all 22 of them. Yes, there were 22 Heritage players on the field at one time; however, not all of them were playing a home game. This year, the game was against one of Heritage’s sister schools, Heritage Laveen.
Despite their opponents being a fellow Heritage campus, the Mesa players pulled no punches and played arguably the best game of football they’ve played this year. The final score was 24-0, with Mesa shutting out Laveen in front of a record crowd. Although the exact numbers aren’t known, the game attendance was possibly the most in Heritage’s history, with every parking space in both the primary and secondary lots filled.
The crowd was positively electric, thundering out cheers and applause and shaking the bleachers. The game was definitely exciting, but the crowd really took it to another level. Full to the brim with parents, students, and alumni supporting the Mesa Heroes, chants of “Defense!” and “Heroes in the House!” kept the energy at max level. To be fair, there were a few Laveen supporters, so everyone was supporting the Heroes in one way or another.
The halftime show, normally involving a parade and a dance number from Dance 4, did not disappoint this year. In addition to the National Anthem at the beginning of the game, the Chamber and Concert choirs serenaded the crowd with their enchanted singing. The Dance company had an amazing performance as well. Because the Homecoming theme this year was Hawaiian, they put on a Polynesian show, complete with multicolored skirts, some good beats, and fire dancing. Yes, a professional firedancer made an appearance, entertaining the crowd with his amazing pyromancy. Finally, the Pep Club finished with a parade representing every grade, followed by the presentation of the Homecoming King and Queen: Sayer Anderson and Navy Kohlhase.
The game resumed, and the teams went out to battle again for two more quarters. In the end, the Mesa Heroes held on for the win, leaving Laveen scoreless and overall having a fantastic game.
—One play of note was Heritage Mesa’s first field goal of the season, successfully kicked by Logan Mecham.