By Debbie Adams
William Byrd High School seniors Makayla Price and Israel Hairston were crowned as 2023
Homecoming Queen and King during a half-time ceremony at the football game on October 13.
Price is the daughter of Martin and Patricia Price. She is a member of the varsity basketball and
lacrosse teams at Byrd, a Senior Representative, and a member of DECA and the Leo Clubs.
Hairston is the son of Christopher and Keevie Hairston. He is a captain of the William Byrd
football team and its quarterback. He is also a captain of the varsity basketball team and plays
varsity baseball. He is a member of the Beta Club, Student Voices, the PTSO, the SCA, Young
Life, and the Triumph Way of the Cross Church.
Members of the Homecoming Court are nominated by their classmates (freshmen nominate
freshmen, etc.) with the entire student body and staff voting online to select the Homecoming
King and Queen from the senior candidates. Nominees introduced themselves to the student
body via video on Terrier TV before the voting began.
Seniors on the 2023 Homecoming Court and candidates for Homecoming King and Queen, in
addition to Makayla Price and Israel Hairston, were Claire Glover (daughter of Eddie and
Karenna Glover), Emmerson Abshire (daughter of Greg and Rebecca Abshire), Josh Stores (son
of Allison and Rashard Poindexter and George Stores), Karli Stephenson (daughter of Chris
Stephenson and Michelle Mullins), and Noah Austin (son of Robin Austin and Eric and Jill
Juniors on the Homecoming Court this year included Kaitlyn Duncan (daughter of Tim and Monica Duncan), Brogan Dent (son of Justin and Kim Dent), Kendall Gordan (daughter of Chris and Joy Gordan), Nathan Rogers (son of Dale and Jenny Rogers), Jada Johnson (daughter of Tony and Coleen Johnson), and Ethan Haston (son of Brian Haston and Rachel Robertson).
Sophomore members of the Homecoming Court for 2023 were Addison Clark (daughter of Allen
and Sharon Clark), Tate Kotz (son of Mitch and Shawna Kotz), Ryleigh Grubb (daughter of
Jesse and Lisa Grubb), and Keegan Harnish (son of Jake and Kellay Harnish).
Members of this year’s Homecoming Court representing the freshmen class included Londan
Hartman (daughter of Charles and Sheree Hartman) and Luke Richardson (son of Kevin and
Homecoming Court members were escorted to centerfield by a family member this year for the
crowning of the king and queen by WBHS Principal Tammy Newcomb, assisted by last year’s
Homecoming King Justin Patrick, Flower Girl Riley McKenzie Decoster, and Crown Bearer
Marek Bartley. (Riley is the 4-year-old daughter of Katie and Andrew Decoster. Marek is 4 years
old and the son of Matt and Shannon Bartley.)
The names of the king and queen were kept secret until the final moment.
Homecoming festivities this year also included four days of Spirit Week at William Byrd,
including PJ Day, Barbie vs. Ken Day, WebEx/Zoom Day, and Class Salad Dressing Day.
There was a powderpuff football game midweek and a pep rally at the end of the school day on
October 13, where the Junior Class was awarded the Spirit Stick for their enthusiastic
participation throughout the week’s events.
Other highlights of Homecoming on October 13 included a performance of this season’s band
competition program, “Mind over Matter,” prior to the game by the Marching Terriers band. Dan
Plybon is the band director. Cadets from the National Naval Defense Cadet Corps presented the
colors during the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. The William Byrd Choir, under the
direction of Matt Bartley, performed the national anthem.
The Dog Pound, cheerleaders – joined by alumni cheerleaders – and the Terrier Mascot
were full of spirit and enthusiasm as always, especially as the Terriers won their game
against Lord Botetourt, 16-0.
Flowers were provided for the ceremony by Cuts Creative Florist.
The grand finale of the week came on Saturday, Oct. 14, with the Homecoming Dance in the