Students, generations of Cobber alumni and the Concordia community gathered together to celebrate the past and future of the college at Concordia's 125th Homecoming.
The theme of this year's Homecoming was "It's a Big Deal" and this weekend lived up to the hype.
Garrett Horejsi and Grace Bateman began their reign as Homecoming King and Queen at Monday night's coronation ceremony. Other members of the royal court, all from the class of 2016, included Joshua Mackner, Justin Odney, Cody Bekkerus, Kyle Stengel, Rachael Schauer, Emily Campbell, Rachel Dieter and Madeline Johnson.
Fireworks lit up the Moorhead sky Thursday night and students rallied together at the bonfire to "Release the Beast" and kick off the weekend.
Four distinguished alumni were presented with the Alumni Achievement Award, students played an epic game of bunco, and more than 1,000 Cobbers from all class years made their way back to campus on Friday.
Saturday's festivities began bright and early with a Cobber 5K Fun Run and reunion events all across campus and the community.
More than 100 Cobbers from the Class of 1966 celebrated their 50th reunion together and sixty-seven Class of 1991 grads joined to celebrate their 25th.
The Concordia Homecoming Parade, much anticipated among future Cobbers, flooded Moorhead's Eighth Street with maroon and gold (and candy). Seventy-seven floats and groups from the campus and community participated.
In true Cobber fashion, tailgating at Jake Christiansen Stadium included a corn-eating contest. More than 300 ears of corn were eaten!
Jason Trichler '93 from men's cross country and track and field, women's basketball player Erica (Hanson) Reid '94, men's hockey standout Marc Terris '94 and Todd Hashbarger '98 of men's soccer and men's hockey were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame during the weekend's events.
The attendance for Saturday's football game against St. Thomas was 5,680 – the largest crowd of the season and the most we've seen since Oct. 25, 2014.
"The crowd support on Saturday was amazing," Head Coach Terry Horan says. "I've always said we have the best fans in the MIAC and they showed it at Homecoming with their loud cheers and the way they got behind the team late in the game."
The final moments of the game had fans on their feet and the edges of their seats as the Cobbers connected on an 89-yard hook-and-ladder from Nick Anderson '17 to Jason Montonye '18 to take a 20-16 lead with 29 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Though St. Thomas came away with a win in the final seconds of the game (23-20), the Cobbers left everything they had on the field and played a unanimously impressive game against the undefeated Tommies.
"I was very proud of the heart, determination and work ethic our players showed for all four quarters. They competed at an extremely high level against a tremendous opponent," Horan says. "I am excited for Saturday's game and a chance to take our effort to an even higher level."
The Homecoming Concert, reunion gatherings and the Johnny Holm Dance capped off another truly wonderful Cobber Homecoming. A special thank you to the Alumni Relations Office and the 2016 Homecoming Committee for their hard work to make these events happen.
Laura Caroon '06 is a content strategist at Concordia College.