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A touch of royalty

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Tavin Cook hugs her father after being announced as Homecoming Queen at Friday's homecoming football game.

Tavin Cook hugs her father after being announced as Homecoming Queen at Friday's homecoming football game.

Tavin Cook hugs her father after being announced as Homecoming Queen at Friday's homecoming football game.


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It seems that there are several misconceptions people have about being nominated for homecoming court, as the candidates would like to point out. For instance while you may think homecoming court nominations would spark a competitive streak in the candidates, the 2016 nominees had a very different story to tell.

“It’s not competitive at all,” first runner up Courtney Jones said. “I’ve known these girls for years. I went to Rhein Benninghoven with some of them. It makes it so much more special, then, to grow up together and be on court with them senior year.”

The attitude between the girls remained positive and helpful throughout the process. For instance, the girls had a group-chat where they shared dresses and hair-do ideas. Senior Alex Oleson guarantees that there was no rivalry between the candidates on the boys’ side, either.

“After I heard the people who were on court with me, and so many of them were my friends, I was so excited to be in it with them,” Oleson said. “It’s not competitive at all… We’ll all be happy with whoever wins.”

And surely Oleson’s fellow nominees were happy for him when he triumphed as Homecoming King, with Josh Plagge as first runner-up and Ty Ball as second runner-up. This announcement was preceded by the declaration of the homecoming queen winners at Friday’s football game, with Tavin Cook taking home the crown, Courtney Jones as first runner-up and Katie McCluskey as second runner-up.

“I feel so appreciated by Northwest, and so appreciative of everyone who voted for me,” Cook said. “I’m so excited and shocked, I can’t believe it.”

Oleson has similar sentiments to share. Oleson, being an established NW student, is not only student body president, but is involved in KUGR, NHS, NW basketball, and many more NW activities. He was nominated by Club 121 and Student Council.

“Both those clubs have so many people that I felt are just as certified and as deserving,” Oleson said. “It’s an amazing feeling, and it’s crazy to think people voted for me and believe that I could be their king.”

Another misconception is that homecoming court is a process filled with stress and hard work. In reality, it’s easier than you might think.

“Ms. Moberg and Ms. O’Boyle make it really easy and stress-free,” candidate Anna Taylor said. “They lay everything out for us and remind us ahead of time of everything we need. They’re great. We’re so lucky to have them helping us out.”

Another homecoming court topic that people is misunderstood is tuxedo and dress shopping. For most of the girls, it wasn’t love at first sight.

“I didn’t think I was going to find a dress at Camille La Vie at or anywhere in the mall, really,” candidate Carlee Dubbert said. “I saw one and didn’t think I’d be interested in it at all, but thought ‘Hey, why not try it?’ It ended up being the one. It was completely different from anything else I tried.”

A similar story is shared by Jones, who, just like Dubbert, reluctantly decided to shop at the mall and also stumbled upon an unlikely dress at Camille La Vie.

“I told my mom ‘No, there’s no way I’m shopping at the mall,’” Jones said. “But I went anyway, just to see. I went with friends and Claire Guigli picked out a dress for me. I was like, ‘No, this is so gaudy, I hate it,’ but I tried it on and fell in love with it. I love my dress.”

Among the misunderstandings surrounding the homecoming court process, there is one thing everyone can agree on: according to the candidates, it’s an amazing experience.

“It’s amazing,” Dubbert said. “Being on court with who I’m with, the dress I have, the support of everyone around me… It couldn’t be any better.”

+ By Samantha Joslin and Anastasia Kling

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A touch of royalty