This week, Winona State University celebrated its annual homecoming week.
Throughout the week, the university provided plenty of opportunities to engage and have fun celebrating the occasion.
To create excitement for homecoming early in the week, students were able to create their own Winona State pillow.
The homecoming court coronation ceremony took place Sunday, Oct. 6, where Janae Mann and Jack Simms where crowned royalty.
During the ceremony, the finalists from the talent show were judged by the audience and were eligible to win cash prizes.
Tracy Rahim, the associate director of student activities & leadership, was impressed by the performances.
“I thought they were very talented students,” Rahim said.
With Monday, Oct. 7 also being the beginning of midterm week, study kits were handed out, as well as a yoga activity being hosted outside Somsen Hall, with about 40 students attending.
Tuesday began with yard games for students to participate in the Phelps lawn including powder puff football, bean bags, letter golf and giant Jenga.
On Wednesday, homecoming royalty handed out free slushies to about 500 people. That evening, “Yesterday” was screened on the videoboard at the football field.
Thursday was the College of Business Alumni Engagement Day, where business alum engaged with current students and faculty in a variety of activities and shared professional experiences.
Other events on Thursday included black light dodgeball, nine square and mini golf.
Friday, there was a club fair and pep fest, both of which were moved inside due to weather, which included President Scott Olson serving as a speaker.
There was also an Athletic Hall of Fame banquet where Terra Halron (softball), Zach Malvik (basketball), Lisa Dobie (volleyball), Kathryn Krueger (soccer), Wade Bergner (track & field and Cross Country) and Brian Hynes (football) were inducted.
Friday night ended with a Warrior networking event where students could network with alumni.
The entirety of Homecoming week culminated into the events held Saturday morning at Winona State, beginning with the Warrior Waddle 5k.
The Homecoming parade was next on Saturday’s agenda, bringing both university and community members to line down Huff Street, and was immediately followed by the Homecoming Warrior Game Day Experience, which ran until the Winona State volleyball game against Augustana University.
The Warrior football game was moved to Sunday due to inclement weather for Minot State University, who were traveling from North Dakota.
Overall, homecoming was affected by the low temperatures but there was still a show to go on and Winona State made the best of it.
One of the final events of the week was the football game, where the Warriors won in dominating fashion against Minot State University, 49-3.
Winona State was able to control all three phases of the game.
While the game taking place during homecoming could be viewed as one of the biggest games of the year, junior quarterback Owen Burke did not expect to prepare differently.
“With that being said, we understand how special this week is and how important this game is,” Burke said.
To start the game, junior receiver Jake Balliu would take the opening kickoff 42-yards.
This setup a 27-yard touchdown pass from Burke to Balliu to take the early lead.
The Warrior defense also got started by making a statement, getting a turnover after senior defensive back Romario Gayle got an interception.
Five plays later, junior Sam Santiago-Lloyd would run in a 15-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 14.
After a punt by Minot State the Warriors would grind out another drive on the ground setup by runs by Santiago-Lloyd.
Junior running back Landon Jacobson finished the job by punching it in for the touchdown.
The Beavers would finally respond with a field goal, but that’s all the Warriors defense would allow all game.
Winona State’s offensive unit also did a good job of killing any momentum Minot State had, while Santiago-Lloyd running in another score making it 28-3 at half.
Winona State continued its dominance in the second half, where they forced another turnover when junior Jack De Groot recovered a fumble.
A big catch and run from Santiago-Lloyd led to another Balliu touchdown catch.
The Warriors got back-to-back touchdowns on the next offensive possessions, including a 49-yard touchdown pass by senior backup quarterback John Rumpza.
Neither team would score in the remainder of the game.
Santiago-Lloyd led the team in rushing with 98 yards on 14 carries for two touchdowns.
The defense’s dominance in only allowing three points was especially noteworthy despite missing key veteran starters in juniors Isaiah Hall and Devin Moore.
They were led in tackles by junior defensive back Richard Azunna with eight.
Next week, the Warriors will go back on the road to face Bemidji State University, kickoff will at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 19.