Make way for the queen

Stiger crowned as 2020 Homecoming Queen


Photo by Abby Elliott

Senior Ashlyn Stiger expresses her shock after hearing her name announced as the homecoming queen. Stiger was escorted onto the field by both of her parents.

Story by Peyton Sims, editor in chief

Friday Night Lights holds a more profound meaning to 16 girls tonight. The Highsteppers still kick, the band still plays, color guard still tosses their flags and the cheerleaders still wave their pom-poms. None of this stops 16 girls from anticipating the announcement that they will reflect on for years to come. The crowd remains silent until the sound of the mic interrupts. They wait until the glistening crown sits atop one lucky girl’s head. 

Ashlyn Stiger’s name filled the stadium followed by a deafening applause. Stiger was announced as Texas High School’s homecoming queen on Oct. 9 alongside her Maid of Honor, Fezeka Barnes. Elected by the student body, Stiger plays on the Lady Tiger volleyball team, and she’s an active member in Leadership, National Honor Society and REACH. 

“When I heard my name, I was like ‘Oh my goodness!’ I was so excited and happy. I’m so thankful for everyone who voted and believed in me,” Stiger said. “[Growing up], I never even paid attention to homecoming court. I never thought I’d make it, but now I’m here. It’s so overwhelming, but I’m so thankful for everything.”

Out of hundreds of seniors, being selected onto the court is an honor within itself. Throughout this busy and hectic homecoming week, the group of girls acted as a support system to one another. 

“I was a bit confused, so I just took a few steps and smiled real hard. I was super excited and really shocked,” Barnes said. “This was such a good bonding experience for me and the girls. Everyone was so nice and supportive. I’m so glad it was Ashlyn, I’ve known her since I’ve moved [to Texarkana]. She’s so sweet, and she definitely deserves it.”

Maid of Honor Fezeka Barnes smiles and waves at the crowd directly after hearing her name announced. The Texas High Homecoming game took place on Oct. 9 at Grim Stadium at Tiger Park. (Photo by Peyton Sims )

Watching the homecoming queen’s eyes light up while she uncontrollably grins at the crowd is a moment worth witnessing. As the tradition lives on–– even through a pandemic–– the crowd, the sidelines, the escorts and the opposing team can’t help but smile along with her as they take in the atmosphere that brings the Friday night football games to life.

“I almost cried. I had to hold back my tears to keep my lashes from falling off,” Ashlyn’s mother Britteney Stiger said. “Her winning means that she’s listening to everything I’ve taught her and that she’s heading in the right direction to be successful one day.”