Crowd anxiously awaits Hickman Homecoming queen

Friday, September 24, 2010 | 11:50 p.m. CDT; updated 12:16 a.m. CDT, Saturday, September 25, 2010

COLUMBIA— The Hickman Kewpies were beating the Helias Crusaders 20-7 at halftime, but the crowd was anxious — and not about the game. The Homecoming court, in cocktail dresses and heels, lined the track and waited to hear their names.

It was Homecoming at Hickman High School on Friday, and it seemed that all anyone could talk about was the Homecoming court.

“The suspense is building,” Tyler Myers, a senior, said. “The crowd is going wild.”

The marching band opened the game with the national anthem, and the spirit squad performed a cheer and dance sequence in their uniforms and pink T-shirts. The crowd, a mixture of adults and students, was adorned in purple and gold jerseys and sweatshirts. The stadium “smelled like teen spirit” as a Nirvana song played overhead.

Until halftime came around, most of the students socialized around concession stands stocked with “Kewpie kandy” in a smoky haze from the hot dog grill .

Then, as band members finished performing and exited the field, the members of the Homecoming court and their escorts took their place in front of the crowd.

The Homecoming queen nominees stayed busy all week raising money for the charities of their choice, including MU Children's Hospital and Special Olympics. The girls asked for food donations from Columbia restaurants to be sold Wednesday at Hickman as part of a fundraiser.

Just before the queen was named, the announcer revealed that the 10 candidates raised a combined $18,200 for the charities.

The crowd returned to its state of anticipation.

“I think I know who’s going to win,” said Jennifer McGowan, a sophomore.

The girls, uncertain of who would take the crown, clung to the friends and male friends they had selected to escort them.

After Sarah Hall was named the 2010 Hickman Homecoming queen, she excitedly accepted her bouquet of yellow roses in the purple dress she purchased for the dance Saturday, before quickly disappearing.

“We all just busted to the bathroom,” Hall said after appearing again, this time in a gray hoodie and jeans. “We had to sit down because our feet hurt, and I don’t like wearing dresses so I had to change.”

Nominated by the volleyball team for her skills at fundraising, Hall expressed how happy she was to have won.

“I’m so excited,” Hall said. “I didn’t think I’d win.”

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