Seniors Richard Hanson and Ariel Stephenson pose for a photo after being crowned. Photo by Matteo Reed.

Homecoming King: Richard Hanson by Devan Fishburne

 

Between the leaves changing color and the temperatures dropping it is clear to see that fall is in full swing here in Prince George. That means students are able to enjoy all the activities there is to do and see before winter weather rolls in. The most notable of these activities is the annual homecoming football game.

Homecoming season is often highlighted by spirit week activities and homecoming dance preparations, but another important element of this part of the school year is the traditional nomination of homecoming court. The homecoming court consists of ten students, five boys and five girls, from each class. The students who get the most votes are elected homecoming prince or princess in the underclassmen’s case and homecoming king or queen for the seniors.

“Well, they have to be nominated and then the king and queen are only voted on by seniors. There are three rounds to narrow it down. We go down to ten and then five and then the top voters get king and queen,” SGA sponsor Marcia Edmundson said.

After all of the voting, one of the students still in the running for homecoming king was senior Richard Hanson. Hanson had not been nominated for court in previous years so being nominated in this, his senior year, was an exhilarating experience in itself.

“It was pretty cool because I have never been nominated before,” Hanson said.

Hanson arrived at the football field as usual on Friday evening, but could not have predicted how his night would transpire.

Hanson and the other nominees lined up and began to proceed down the track with arms linked to their
escorts. Hanson, escorted by his mother, was still feeling the initial excitement of a homecoming court nominee tied in with the increasing eagerness of a determined player to get back in the game. As the results were called a wave of enthusiasm fell over everyone in the stadium. No one felt this elation more
than Hanson himself as he was announced as the winner of the title of homecoming king.

“I was surprised honestly. I didn’t think I was going to win because I had good competition so I was happy,” Hanson said.

Hanson was able to enjoy a momentary celebration, but he had to adjust his mentality and his attentions quickly turned back to helping his team win the game.

“It was a very humbling experience. I just wanted to go back and win [the game]. It was great to have [the title of homecoming king], but I wanted to go out and win [the game],” Hanson said.

After the game, a 7-40 loss for the Royals, Hanson participated in all of the ceremonial activities that come with being homecoming king.

“[The most exciting part was] wearing the crown and the sash, that was pretty cool, and walking into the dance with my sash. It was good to know that people voted for me,” Hanson said.

Now that both the game and the dance have passed, Hanson can reflect on what being homecoming king means to him.

“It means a lot. I knew I was well known, but I didn’t know that I was that well known,” Hanson said.

Now Hanson’s only duty as king is to show what being a homecoming court nominee is all about.
“[We expect] lots of school spirit. Homecoming is all about school spirit,” Edmundson said.

Seniors Richard Hanson and Ariel Stephenson pose for a photo after being crowned. Photo by Matteo Reed.
Seniors Richard Hanson and Ariel Stephenson pose for a photo after being crowned. Photo by Matteo Reed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homecoming Queen: Ariel Stephenson by Qadirah Monroe

 

A cool autumn breeze sweeps across the anticipating homecoming court. The final runner up has been announced, and she listens attentively to hear her name over the loudspeakers. After a short pause, she finally hears her name called. The crowd cheers in response. She’s the winner. She’s the queen.
 On October 17, senior Ariel Stephenson was crowned the 2014 Homecoming Queen during the Homecoming game against Meadowbrook High School. Over a playful conversation at her lunch table, Stephenson got the idea of running for homecoming court. A few of her friends were really into the idea, placing her on the ballot during nominations.
 “We were sitting at the lunch table and one of my friends was like, ‘Ariel, if you ran, you’d beat all of us,’’’ Stephenson said.
 With a strong support system composed of some of her closest friends, Stephenson had a homecoming movement in the works. Determined to make her a winner, her friends worked hard to get people to select Stephenson’s name on the ballot in every round.
 “[My friends] like campaigned,” Stephenson said. “Blair Johnson went around telling everyone to vote for me, and she’s the one that nominated me.”
 The princes, princesses, runner ups, king, and queen were announced for the duration of half time at the Homecoming game. During half time, Stephenson was escorted by her grandfather. Having her grandfather walk with her was a very special moment.
 “It meant a lot considering that my dad couldn’t be there,” Stephenson said. “I really appreciated it.”
 Though the homecoming queen is not declared until the night of the game, there was rumor that Stephenson had already won before the big announcement.
 “People kept trying to tell me that I’d won earlier [that day], but I didn’t believe them,” Stephenson said.
 One by one, the runner-ups were called, from fourth up to first. By the time that the announcer had reached the first runner up, Stephenson realized had come to the conclusion that she was the winner by process of elimination.
 “They kind of gave [the news] away when they said that Jessie was runner-up,” Stephenson said. “And then I realized that I was the only one left, I just kind of smiled.”
 A roar of cheers rang out from the crowd as Stephenson was declared homecoming queen. A surge of excitement filled the air.
 “Hearing everybody chanting ‘Ariel!’ was so surreal,” Stephenson said.
 SGA sponsor, Marcia Edmundson, who had a hand in all of the voting for the homecoming court. Due to her behind the scenes role during the week of homecoming, she was one of the first people to know who would be crowed the 2014 Homecoming Queen.
 “I actually knew a couple of days before hand,” Edmundson said. “I wasn’t going to tell anybody though because I had to wait until we made the big announcement!”
 While facilitating the homecoming court down on the track, Edmundson was making sure that everyone got the right flowers and awards. As she was working, she got the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of the night, first hand.
 “[The crowd] sounded very excited,” Edmundson said. “I remember hearing a lot of cheering when the winners were announced.”
 Over the years, homecoming queens have all been different but many share some of the same character traits. Stephenson possesses the traits that it took to receive the votes to win.
 “They always seemed to be people who had lots of school spirt, which I think is still the case,” Edmundson said. “It also tends to be the people who know a lot of other people and a lot of other people know them. [Ariel] represents us so well, as a person, as a student, and as an athlete.”
 As a crowned queen, Stephenson is truly grateful for all of the support that she received from the student body during the voting process and on Homecoming.
 “I just want to tell everyone thank you for voting for me!” Stephenson said.