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Line dancing after lunch

(ran North, South editions)

It was about 1:30 on Thursday afternoon and the Mitchell High School cheerleaders, many donning cowboy hats and kerchiefs, were line dancing to Cotton Eye Joe while the rest of the student body moseyed on over to the stadium to celebrate Rodeo Day.

While Pajama Day rates right up there, the day that gives a nod to all things western is one of the most popular events held during Homecoming Week, said senior Ashley Jordan.

That is, of course, after the semi-formal Homecoming Dance held in the school cafeteria.

Like many of her classmates, Jordan came dressed in fitting attire, tying her blonde hair in pigtails and sporting a fluorescent pink hat as part of her ""Barbie' cowboy look."

"This is pretty cool," said Jordan. As secretary of the student council, she helped plan the weeklong event and was happy that, so far, it was pulling together nicely. "It gets the students involved, and we get to make fools out of ourselves and our sponsors."

"It's all about school spirit and everybody getting to know each other," said Jeff Graham, a junior who had no problem wearing a black-and-white-spotted cow costume while line dancing with the rest of the cheerleading squad.

While rooting for their school is the primary focus of the week, there is some rather spirited competition that goes on between the classes. From "lowly" freshmen to seniors who (not always) "rule," they vie for the chance to be the best in events such as scooter riding, three-legged races, banana eating and tug of war.

Some students, however, are non-partisan.

"I'm just cheering for the all the teams," said senior Greg Steiner, who spent "20 bucks" on a blowup horse costume that he wore in honor of the Mitchell Mustangs.

Steiner even gave a few rahs up for the juniors _ Josh Kassil, Nick Matingly, Mike Trinidad and Theo Zaharopoulos _ who blew away the competition in the hobby horse race.

"This is awesome," said Trinidad, who was happy to weigh in on Homecoming Week.

So what's the best part?

"That we're going to the Homecoming Dance single," said Trinidad. "Well ... maybe."