Most Royal Tiger Crowned
As fireworks lit the sky above Ray Solari field, the most royal tiger was crowned, overshadowing the smell of popcorn, Tiger Dogs and nachos from the close to a dozen volunteers running the snack bar.
Six members of the court walked the red carpet, topping the synthetic green and orange turf.
The band blasted songs, each member waltzing to their position on the field. When the announcement for the winner came through the speakers, a thunderous roar bellowed from endzone to endzone.
The 2024 homecoming court was announced and Most Royal Tiger, Colin Wong, was crowned.
Over 15 seniors were honored prior to kick off on Friday night. A gleaming “SPHS” silver sign sent glimmered across the field. One by one, custom footballs were handed out each senior, receiving them when they were announced.
Each football had the players last name on it, a fitting gift for the second to last game of the season and what would be for many of the seniors, their last taste of football.
Raffy Ohannesian joined his son, Liam, on the field to be honored by the school. Raffy Ohannesian was excited to see his son play one of his final games, moving to the area just this year from Monrovia.
“We come from a family of achievers,” he said. “Liam has been playing quarterback since he was six years old, and this is that one milestone: senior year.”
Ohannesian mentioned there have been some small schools that have reached out, hoping his son chooses the best fit for himself.
“Joy,” he said. “If he can get joy and peace in your life, everything else is secondary. I’ve learned that lesson.”
A Night of Recognition
On a night where South Pasadena honored their seniors and the homecoming court, there was another celebration. honoring South Pasadena High School legend and former head coach Ray Solari, who died earlier this year in March.
He was the head football coach from 1956 to 1971, notching 120 wins and just 43 losses.
Hundreds roared as over a dozen of his closest friends and family were honored at midfield. In attendance were some of his closest friends and family, like Jack Schultz who was on Solari’s 1966 state championship team.
Schultz grew up watching Solari coach at the school, knowing exactly who he wanted to play for and even decades later, he was honored to be able to pay tribute to the house Ray Solari built.
“Ray is clearly a guy to be celebrated,” Schultz said. “I knew he was going to be a difference maker in my life and he was…That’s why there’s people here recognizing him. That’s why the stadium is named after him. That’s why so many of us love him and revere him to this day. He made a big difference in our lives.”