By Debbie Adams
William Byrd High School seniors Madison Tuck and Simon Band were crowned the 2021 Homecoming Queen and King during half-time festivities at the football game on October 8.
The Homecoming Court was made up of 20 students at Byrd this year—two freshmen, four sophomores, six juniors, and eight seniors. 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 before the voting via video with the assistance of ITRT and Junior Class sponsor Cherry Bell Damasco-Farrington.
During half-time, members of the Homecoming Court were introduced and escorted to mid-field by a member of their family. The winners were announced—a secret until then. Principal Tammy Newcomb presented trophies to the new king and queen, who were crowned by last year’s king and queen—Keaton Band and Reagan Tuck. (Coincidentally, Simon and Keaton are brothers, while Maddy and Reagan are cousins. Sophomore Emily Tuck, a member of the Homecoming Court, is Reagan Tuck’s sister and Maddy Tuck’s cousin.)
In 2020, due to the pandemic, there was no fall football and no Homecoming Court; a senior king and queen were chosen during the spring football season—Keaton Band and Reagan Tuck.
Maddy Tuck is one of this year’s Dog Pound leaders, participates in varsity softball and indoor track and plays travel softball. She is a member of the FCA, Beta Club, and Byrd Buddies. Her parents are Amanda Trent and Mark Tuck. Simon Band plays varsity soccer. His mother is Sandy Cales.
The crown bearer was James Anderson, son of Assistant Principal Travis Anderson and his wife Christine; James also delivered the crowns at Homecoming in 2019.
Members of this year’s 2021 Homecoming Court are freshmen Jada Johnson (daughter of Coleen Johnson and Tony Johnson) and Brogan Dent (parents are Justin and Kim Dent).
Sophomores on the court are Emily Tuck (daughter of Kevin and Melissa Tuck), John Kiker (parents are Tosha and Josh Kiker), Kyra Lane (parents are Stacey and Jason Lane), and Shiloh Markwith (son of Aaron Markwith and Ronda Markwith),
Juniors on the court were: Bre Hodges (daughter of Angie Hodges and Tim Hodges), Shane Heldenbrand (parents are Stephanie Blankenship and Andy Heldenbrand), Bailey Warden (daughter of Steve and Denise Sartell), Dustin Richards (parents are John and Christie Richards), Madeline Simmons (parents are Samantha and Brian Simmons), and Justin Patrick (son of Ginny and Keith Patrick).
Seniors on the court in addition to Simon Band and Maddy Tuck are” Jenna Nicely (daughter of Sherry and Randy Nicely), Jonah Bowser (son of Doug and Suzanne Bowser), Sela Beatty (parents are Letitia Hawkins-Beatty and Timothy Beatty), Trevor Ruble (son of Hannah Ruble and Richard Ruble), Annabelle Moore (her mother is Lisa Moore), and Landon Niday (son of Kevin and Wendy Niday).
Homecoming festivities this year also included five days of Spirit Week at William Byrd, including Flannel Day, Jersey Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Day, Throwback Thursday Decades Day, and Class Colors Day. The Sophomore Class was declared the winner of Spirit Week for its participation.
There was a Powder Puff football game midweek (junior girls versus senior girls) and a pep rally in the stadium on Friday afternoon prior to the annual Homecoming Parade through the neighborhoods surrounding the high school. The parade started out at the baseball field in the Spring Grove subdivision, proceeded down Route 24, up the driveway to the school and through the parking lot.
The parade was led by the Marching Terriers Band, followed by cheerleaders, class floats, and the nominees for the Homecoming Court riding in convertibles.
Instead of their usual halftime performance, the marching band performed their “Escape from the Mind” program prior to the game.
Terriers Head Coach Brad Lutz and his players dedicated the game to a fallen military hero—Army Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Westbrook. He joined the Army even before graduating from high school and was assigned to the 1st Battalion 1st Infantry Division Fort Riley, Kansas. Westbrook was killed in October 2009 at age 41 by insurgents in Afghanistan who attacked his unit. He is survived by his wife and three sons. His brother also died in combat in Iraq. These special tributes to “those who protect our freedoms” have become a part of each game played by the Terriers.
The grand finale came on Saturday, October 9, with the Homecoming Dance in the school gym.