Seniors Autumn Jester and Chandler Thomas stand with their parents on the field after being crowned homecoming queens in a tie. (Savannah Pritchard)
Seniors Autumn Jester and Chandler Thomas stand with their parents on the field after being crowned homecoming queens in a tie.

Savannah Pritchard

Double the excitement

Tie in voting leads to 2 seniors sharing homecoming crown

October 3, 2014

The crowd hushes, and the anticipation in the air is tangible. And then, in the silence, the announcer’s voice reverberates through the stadium. “This year’s homecoming queens are Chandler Thomas and Autumn Jester!”

This year’s homecoming court had a twist ending with two homecoming queens and two maids of honor: Katherine Doan and Chanell Hayes.

“I went blank, and then it was EXCITEMENT, EXCITEMENT, EXCITEMENT, EXCITEMENT! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh,” Thomas said about hearing her name. “I had no idea.”

Jester had a similar reaction.

“I didn’t know what to do, I just kind of froze up,” Jester said. “And then I just started laughing.”

Meanwhile, the maids were equally excited.

“I didn’t really hear it at first,” Doan said. “It was just weird, and then I knew they said it, but it didn’t register. I was just standing there like a vegetable.”

The moments before the announcement were almost eerily quiet. The entire crowd was hushed, and the court was locked in nervous anticipation.

“It was a nervous feeling, but even if I didn’t win maid of honor, I was still happy for whoever won,” Hayes said. “I am very thankful, and I just love everyone that chose me.”

All of the girls were elated with their time on court.

“It was really amazing being on homecoming court and all the experience that came with it,” Rachel White said. “I’ll always remember it.”

The two queens and two maids was a twist that no one expected. Another tie occurred with two queens in 2012 with Natalie Copeland and Cheyenne Jester, making Autumn the second Jester to win the title of queen.

“It felt really good, especially since my sister got it,” Autumn Jester said. “I really look up to her, so being in her position was really exciting.”

Members of the court had more than 6,000 collective community service hours.

“It was a great court. They’re all really involved in Friday night stuff, which is important,” said Courtney Waldrep, cheer coach and homecoming organizer. “They are all really active in their churches, in community service, different clubs on campus.”

“It was a great court,” Waldrep said.  “I thought they represented all different aspects of the school. They all are really involved.”

None of the girls were upset by the double titles.

“That’s totally fine,” Thomas said. “Autumn deserves it just as much as anyone on this court does.”

Jester agreed.

“I think it is awesome, because everyone on the court deserved to have the crown,” Jester said. “I’m so glad that I get to share it with Chandler Thomas.”

For many girls, the chance to be on homecoming court is an opportunity they look forward to throughout the year.

“It’s something that you only get to experience once,” White said. “It was really amazing.”

As the experience of homecoming court nears its end, the girls all look forward to the dance Saturday.
“I am very excited,” Hayes said. “It’s my last year; I’m a senior. I just can’t wait to have fun with everyone and enjoy this one last time.”

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