• Security fears, narrow win don’t dampen OU’s Homecoming festivities
By James S. Tyree
Transcript Staff Writer
“Got any candy?”
Ruth Moore’s face lit up as she asked the question Saturday during the University of Oklahoma Homecoming 2005 parade. She embodied the term “kids of all ages” as she was a sharp, middle-aged woman standing next to her husband and a son enrolled in medical school.
Problem was, the Moore family was in front of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, well behind the rows of people lining Boyd Street to see the floats and catch sweet treats.
“I’m trying to get them to throw back here,” she said while waving her arms.
Carli Dominguez, an 8-year-old girl from Grapevine, Texas, was far more successful. With cowboy hat in hand and a can’t-miss, front-row spot on Boyd, Carli had a hat filled with candy and gum.
She is among six relatives making a rare trip this weekend to Norman, where her uncle, Nachi Dominguez, is studying marketing at OU. For Dominguez, homecoming meant part of his Texas home coming to him.
“This is my last year; I’ve got to bring them all up here,” he said at the parade while holding Gabby Eaton, a 2-year-old niece. “I don’t get to spend time with them that much, so it’s nice to bring them up and show them the campus.”
The parade began about 3 p.m., three hours before the homecoming football game between OU and Baylor. The result was as nutty and sweet for Sooner fans as some of the homecoming candy, as OU prevailed 37-30 in its first-ever double-overtime game.
OU won without its top three running backs. Adrian Peterson and Donta Hickson were injured while Kejuan Jones was suspended for the game. But OU got a big lift from Jacob Gutierrez and Allen Patrick, a pair of players seldom used on offense who ran for a combined 227 yards and two touchdowns.
Prior to the game, candidates for homecoming queen and king were introduced to the stadium crowd before Jenny Rogers and Kelsey Pierce were crowned as this year’s winners. Rogers is a Pauls Valley marketing senior; Pierce is a Duncan senior majoring in business management.
A cloud of caution hung over the day’s festivities. In OU’s first home football game since the Oct. 1 fatal bombing on South Oval, everyone entering the stadium received written notices of what to do in case of emergency, and bags were checked more thoroughly.
The university also showed a pregame video presentation with OU president David Boren and athletics director Joe Castiglione explaining emergency procedures. Law enforcement faced a possible threat shortly after 3 p.m. on Asp Avenue, just south of Lindsey Street, which caused officers to tape off the area and check for explosives. The area was deemed all clear within a few minutes.
But for the most part, Homecoming 2005, which had the theme “Everything’s Gone Pop” as in music, was a festive occasion. The 1955 and 1956 football teams were honored during halftime to mark the 50th anniversary of their national championships, and the crowd cheered warmly for them. The 2004-05 men’s basketball team also was recognized for winning the conference title.
And back at the parade, hundreds of participants enjoyed getting dressed in various costumes and taking part in the university’s long homecoming tradition.
After dressing as Ariel, the title character of Disney’s “Little Mermaid,” Ponca City freshman Erika Martin said she had “so much fun, it makes me want to work at Disney World.” The only bummer for the Pi Beta Phi member was running out of candy along the parade route — even the many hours it took to build their Disney-themed float was well worth it.
Each person spent at least 15 hours this week on the float; the men of Delta Upsilon worked even more all night to put on the finishing touches. The work paid off as their float won first place in the large group and overall categories. Kappa Alpha Psi and Beta Chi Theta helped the DUs and girl Pi Phis with the winning float.
Meanwhile, the College of Education distributed more than 2,000 books for kids and teens free to everyone who wanted them. Misty Cate, chair of the dean’s student advisory council, said the college has a book fair each February and its proceeds pay for the books.
James S. Tyree
• Security fears, narrow win don’t dampen OU’s Homecoming festivities
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