Homecoming: 50 years of Ram tradition

Every little girl is born a princess, but only one little girl can grow up to become her school’s homecoming queen. It’s a moment like no other. The glaring stadium lights, the soft ground of the football field, the whole school cheering from the stands. The half time clock ticks away, the moment of revelation is approaching. Nobody is going to forget this night.

Principal Hemric congratulates 50th Homecoming Queen, Mick Moxley | Photo by Savannah Putman
Principal Hemric congratulates 50th Homecoming Queen, Mick Moxley | Photo by Savannah Putman

For the past fifty years, Starmount has celebrated this tradition of naming a female from the senior class as the homecoming queen. She, along with her attendant, are voted on by her fellow classmates. It’s an honor like no other and something sure to be cherished for years to come. As a tribute to the half-century long tradition, Starmount invited all former homecoming queens to the September 30th homecoming football game to be recognized as royalty once more.

Homecoming alumni attend celebration | Photo by Savannah Putman
Former Ram Homecoming queens attend celebration in recognition of 50th anniversary | Photo by Savannah Putman

Among the returning queens were two retired teachers, Carry Welborn and Sherri Oliver. Both women fondly reminisced over the excitement of their night as queens. They recalled the total shock and surprise when they discovered they had even made it on the court because neither of them had even tried to campaign. When the idea was supposed that the competition revolved around a girl’s popularity, they were quick to disagree. “I think it’s more of a character contest,” Oliver suggested. Welborn agreed, saying it had more to do with the girls’ attitudes and how they treated others, as well as “their actions around school.”

Former Queens Wanda Jordan (left) and Sherri Oliver (right) stand on either side of first ever homecoming queen to Starmount, Judy Walker | Photo by Savannah Putman

When asked if the honor had prepared them in any way for their futures, Oliver returned to the idea of character, explaining that it really revolved around being a people-person. As a former teacher, she stated that the quality was really helpful to her in her job. Welborn remembered the night she was presented as queen with great fondness. “It was amazing,” she smiled. Oliver recalled with excitement the differences between her homecoming in high school and the present-day homecoming.

50 anniversary queens
1st SHS Homecoming Queen Judy Walker with 50th Homecoming Queen, Mick Moxley | Photo by Savannah Putman

She explained how they used to make floats for each class to be used in the homecoming parade on Friday. Then, at the football game that night, the court could ride on them before they stepped onto the field at halftime. “It was a great way to raise school spirit,” Oliver stated. After the game was over, there was always a homecoming dance for the whole school. It was the best way to celebrate the newest queen’s victory. Both Oliver and Welborn admitted to having partaken in this tradition.

2016 Homecoming Court | Photo by Savannah Putman
2016 Homecoming Court | Photo by Savannah Putman

In the end, they were happy to enjoy the honor of being recognized as Starmount royalty all over again. “It really is an honor,” Oliver emphasized. “And it’s something nobody forgets.” She reported that even today, former classmates will introduce her as the homecoming queen. After it’s all said and done, it’s not the rhinestone crown or the satin sash that matters, but the chance to represent the Rams as the brand new homecoming queen.

Christy Rucker is a senior member of the SHS Journalism Club and YCS Virtual Academy of Journalism.