It's a sound that could only mean one thing… homecoming at Tyler Junior College!

The beating of the drum is a tradition that's been around for almost 70 years. It represents the heartbeat of TJC.

It was started by the Apache Guard Association in 1948. Back then the beat only lasted 48 hours. In 1966 it was almost doubled lasting 90 hours. This year, the drumbeat will last 123 hours.

Students, faculty, and alumni volunteer to keep the beat going from the ceremony at noon on Monday, until kickoff at the homecoming game, Saturday at 3 p.m.

As tradition goes… as long as the beat continues the Apaches will win the homecoming game. If the beat stops, they lose.

"Rumor has it that it happened in the 80's. It stopped for a short minute but there was (weather) the game actually ended in a tie." Director of Student Life, Lauren Tyler said.

TJC doesn't leave anything up to chance. The drum is loaded into the back of a pickup and driven to the game for kickoff. The entire time, students will be keeping the beat going.

The homecoming game is against Kilgore College.

While the drum beat sets the stage for homecoming there are other events for TJC to "Rock the Rose"

On Wednesday from 8:00-11:00 p.m. the annual homecoming dance will be on the 1st floor of the Rogers Student Center followed by the traditional late night breakfast in the Apache Junction.

Thursday at 6:00 p.m. there will be a pep rally and neighborhood block party at Jenkins Hall Lawn.

Friday, the Apache band and Belles 70th anniversary reception begins at 6:00 p.m. at the White Administrative Services Center.