If you live in the Huntsville city limits, you would have to really work hard to miss the fact that last Friday night was Huntsville High School’s homecoming.
The festivities begin on Thursday evening with a parade wrapping through downtown. The morning school bell greets students, along with the bells jingling from mums and homecoming garters. The school day ends with a roar at the homecoming pep rally, and from there, the clock is counting down the minutes until the big game.
The Hornets played the Rangers from Bryan’s Rudder High School, but every year homecoming is about so much more than the game. It’s homecoming, so HHS grads return to exchange Hornet hugs with old friends and hometown folks come out to support the team.
Arguably, the most anticipated moment though, is the crowning of the homecoming king and queen.
This year’s candidates are all outstanding students with excellent character, which surely made voting difficult for their classmates. Representing the freshman class were Prince Nathan Shirley and Princess Monica Cardenas. For the sophomores, Prince Kavon Parrish and Princess Shy’diah Franklin were selected.
The juniors were represented by Prince Jay Griffin and Princess Taylore Hartman. Senior princes were Jared Shirley, Morrie Evans, Fabian Barahona and Chijindu Diokpa. Senior princesses were Allison Nichols, Makayla Doyle, McKayla Chamberlai, and Perla Escott.
“This year’s candidates are a wonderful group of students that truly reflect what being a Hornet is all about,” HHS Student Council sponsor Stacy Godby said.
As student council sponsor, Godby was tasked with administering the election. The votes are made using a Scantron form and read by machine.
“The race was so close that I recounted the votes by hand to make sure the machine did not miss any votes,” Godby said.
As the candidates line up, arm in arm with their families, the music begins and the stroll across the field is underway. The voice of theater teacher Tim Johnston begins to tell of each candidate’s accomplishments and future plans.
The proud mamas and papas walk their children to the middle of the field and face a crowd of people cheering them on. Finally, the last candidate makes her way to the sideline and takes her place in line. There is a hush across the crowded stands as everyone listens for the names of the next homecoming queen and king.
Then the voice sings out, “The 2014 homecoming king for Huntsville High School is ... Chijindu Diokpa!” The crowd roars, but quickly regains composure in anticipation of the next name. “...And your 2014 Huntsville High School homecoming queen is ... Perla Escott!”
The crowd explodes with applause and shouts. It’s an age-old tradition, but one that we Hornets hope to hang on to for as long as we can.
The homecoming queen and homecoming king pose for photos and wave to the crowd. The next week at school may be business as usual, but for one night, these two are royalty.