Friday the 13th turned out to be good luck for William Byrd High School students in celebrating their annual Homecoming. A week of festivities led up to the game in which the Terriers soundly defeated the William Fleming Colonels 41-7.
Principal Tammy Newcomb established a new tradition with a Homecoming Parade in the late afternoon before the football game.
The parade included the JROTC Color Guard, the Marching Terriers band, the Homecoming Court nominees and last year’s Homecoming King and Queen riding in the traditional convertibles (and a couple of Jeeps), along with floats from each class. The parade route started out at the baseball field in Spring Grove and wound through the neighborhood to Route 24.
There, they were met by the Roanoke County Police, who closed Route 24 to traffic going toward Vinton for a few minutes, with the flashing school zone lights indicating all traffic should be proceeding at 25 mph going in the opposite direction toward Stewartsville.
Once the parade reached the high school, seniors were treated to a Fifties-themed Tailgate Party prepared and served by teacher Bev Allman and her Culinary Arts students.
The Marching Terriers band presented their “Power of Music” program prior to the game. The cheerleaders welcomed the team to the field.
The band, under the direction of Dan Plybon, and the WBHS Choir, directed by Matt Bartley, opened the game with the National Anthem.
At halftime, the Homecoming Court was introduced. Homecoming Queen and King Jeanette Sako and J.J. Seymore were crowned with the assistance of last year’s King and Queen Stephen Olsen and Jessica Stanley, crown bearer Sydney Nichols, and flower girl Annie Puckett.
This year’s Homecoming Court included freshmen Grayce Dantzler and Darian Simpson; sophomores Alison Stoehr, Kayla Witt, Jack Moses, and Nathan Patrick; and juniors Faith Andrews, Megan James, Kayla Turner, Thomas Adams, and Tanner Hough.
The seniors on the Homecoming Court– from whom the Homecoming Queen and King were chosen– were queen candidates Ozioma Anyanwu, Courtney Brown, Marisa Kopera, and Jeanette Sako, and king candidates Luis Jerez, Beem Sareekun, J.J. Seymore, and Christopher Spano.
The Homecoming Court was introduced to the student body at a Homecoming Assembly earlier in the week. Students celebrated Spirit Week all week long.
Members of the freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior classes nominated and elected their own representatives for the Homecoming Court and then the entire school voted on the Homecoming King and Queen. The student body votes electronically on Blackboard. The results of the voting were revealed at halftime with the crowning of the new king and queen.
Grace Dantzler is the daughter of David and Alyce Dantlzer. She is a member of the varsity volleyball team. Darian Simpson is a member of the football team.
Alison Stoehr is the daughter of Amy and Nathan Stoehr. She plays varsity volleyball at Byrd and travel volleyball. She is a member of the Math Pound, SCA, and Leo Club.
Kayla Witt is the daughter of Barry and Sandi Witt. She plays basketball and soccer, and belongs to the SCA, FCA, DECA, Byrd Buddies, the Math Pound, the Hiking Club, the International Club, the Prevention Club and the Leo Club.
Jack Moses is the son of Robbie and Kathy Moses. He is a member of DECA.
Nathan Patrick plays football and soccer and belongs to the SCA, FCA, and Prevention Club.
Faith Andrews plays varsity volleyball at Byrd and travel volleyball. She belongs to the Prevention, International, and Hiking Clubs, and is an officer in DECA.
Megan James is the daughter of Bobby and Teresa James. She plays volleyball and basketball, is an SCA officer, and belongs to the Leo Club, Byrd Buddies, and the Math Pound.
Kayla Turner is the daughter of Shannon and Brian Turner. She is a competitive dancer at Studio 45, and belongs to the Leo Club, Help Save the Next Girl, the FCA, Byrd Buddies, the Hiking Club, the FCCLA, the International Club, the Math Pound, and is Junior Leader of the Prevention Club.
Thomas Adams is the son of Christina and Chris Adams. He plays football and basketball and is a member of DECA.
Tanner Hough is the son of Terry and Mark Hough. He is a member of the FCA and DECA.
Ozioma Anyanwu is a member of the Senior Council, co-president of the Leo Club, Public Speaking section leader in Forensics, Vice President of the Beta Club, French Ambassador for the International Club, and a member of the Reindeer and Prevention Clubs. She plans to study Public Health and French in college.
Courtney Brown is a member of DECA. She plans to attend Longwood University and study elementary education.
Marisa Kopera is the daughter of Ralph and Paula Kopera. She dances competitively for Studio 45 and is the worship leader for the youth Praise band at her church. She is a member of DECA, the SCA, on the yearbook staff, and a member of the Prevention, Drama, International, History, Reindeer, and Beta Clubs She plans to attend Virginia Tech.
Jeanette Sake is the daughter of Dr. Jennifer Alston and Amadou Sako. She plays soccer with the Valley AFC Club, as well as indoor track and field, and varsity girls’ soccer. She is FCA Treasurer and music leader, a member of Student Council, the Beta Club, the SCA, the Prevention Club, DECA, and on the Senior Class Council. She plans to attend either UVA or JMU.
Luis Jerez is the son of Armando and Myriam Jerez. He participates in cross country, indoor track, and soccer. He is a member of the FCA, the Beta Club, the Hiking Club, and serves as Senior Class president. He plans to major in accounting and business analytics at UVA.
Beem Sareekun plays varsity golf, varsity soccer, and track. He plans to attend JMU.
J.J. Seymore’s parents are Kathy Seymore Lanter and Donnie Lanter. He plays varsity basketball and soccer. He is vice president of the Senior Council, an active member in the FCA, Prevention, FBLA, International, and DECA clubs. He plans to attend Virginia Tech to major in accounting.
Christopher Spano is the son of Eric and Gina Spano. He is a member of the Beta Club, Jazz Band, and Senior Council.
The Homecoming Dance took place in the gym at William Byrd on Saturday night with a “Grease” theme. The school was decorated by the SCA students sponsored by Madison Weisenborn and Junior Class Council members sponsored by Mrs. Farrington.
During the dance, the Homecoming Court members were announced and recognized once again along with the Homecoming King and Queen. The recipient of the title of “Mr. Football,” Logan Taylor, was also announced at the dance. Mr. Football is elected by the football team as one who demonstrates the characteristics of a team player, good sportsmanship, and leadership.
The Homecoming Court and activities are organized by WBHS art teacher Allyson Goin. ITRT Cherry Bell Damasco-Farrington is in charge of the Homecoming Dance.