Before the game began, the band and color guard performed their spirit show, “British Invasion,” playing classic songs by the Beatles, Elton John and Queen as MHS flags fluttered in the wind. It was a chilly night, but a crowd of students and parents still came to cheer on the people on the field.
During the half show, the Lake Ridge varsity drill team came out in their green outfits. Led by six officers in white, they ended with synchronized splits and hands up high, with a Disney-themed song playing in the background.
Chick-Fil-A announced a prize for whoever had the best spirit in the student section. The camera zoomed through the crowd and focused on Andres Mendoza, who won free Chick-Fil-A for a week.
Meanwhile, the Mansfield drill team formed an upside down V while wearing gray sweats and their traditional glittered skirts. Slowly, JROTC marched in the center of the field as the band played the ballad from competition while the speaker announced the homecoming court of freshmen Lady Bella Mullins and Lord Hudson Gatz, sophomores Duke Joey Pena and Duchess Cynthia Bui, juniors Prince Gavin Brzozowski and Princess Alexis Martinez, who had been nominated earlier in the week.
For this year’s senior homecoming court, six couples were announced with queen-nominee Kelly Mejia and king-nominee Reed Thomas, queen-nominee Yana Ford and king-nominee Jordan Hurt, queen-nominee Lilly Mullins and king-nominee Cecil Franklin, queen-nominee Bailey Gallini and king-nominee Jonah Porter, queen-nominee Katleyn Terry and king-nominee Matt Underwood and the couple, queen-nominee Gracyn Margo and king-nominee Dameon Gomes. Finally, after counting all the votes, the speaker paused for effects as the crowd anxiously waited to hear who had won. He then announced the official Homecoming King Cecil Franklin and Queen Katelyn Terry. Last year’s Homecoming King Jamie Hayes and Prom Queen Berkley Coch walked with Principal Trent Dowd toward the couple to crown them and give a bouquet of yellow flowers.
Cecil, who represented Academic Decathlon, was not originally planning to come to homecoming and said he was not very ecstatic about being crowned.
“It didn’t hit me until later,” he said. “It was kind of weird (because) it is going to be MHS history, but it was a cool (experience).”
Katelyn, who was the sweetheart nominee for Bell guard, said she was shocked and full of gratitude.
“This year I have focused on prioritizing my joy and what matters in my heart,” she said. “I love serving the students and faculty of Mansfield High school and getting to serve as the Homecoming queen only adds to the love I have for my senior year.”