Horton and Zhang: Humble Homecoming Court

Kiana Schmitt, Staff Writer

With the pass of a sash a bouquet of flowers, the renowned title of Homecoming Queen was amiably transferred from Maddy Hutchinson—last year’s queen—to an exuberant Katie Horton (12) during half time of the Homecoming game on Friday, October 21st.   The next night, Peter Zhang (12) had a similar experience when his name was announced as Homecoming King in front of over 800 students at the Homecoming dance in the gym.

Of the moment she was crowned at game, Horton stated that “it was wonderful to get to share that Friday night with [the Homecoming Princesses] Nina, Michelle, Sophie, and BJ because they are all such fabulous girls! I remember watching movies about high school homecomings when I was younger…The moment I heard my name announced as the winner was a truly surreal moment.”  Zhang, the main coordinator of this year’s Homecoming, simply “was honored that people appreciated the work that was put in [to the dance] and that everyone was having a good time”; in fact, he admits that up until the instant his name blared over the loudspeakers, he was more focused on the actual dance and making sure it was running smoothly.  With his “caring, kind, determined, and helpful personality,” Horton confidently explained that Zhang “is the main reason why the Homecoming dance was so successful” and she is “glad that he is getting recognition for all that he has done!”

Reminiscing on all her previous years in high school, Horton “never could have imagined being one of the top 15, let alone top 5 or even Homecoming Queen.”  Consequently, she confessed, “I honestly do not think it has even sunk in yet!”  Zhang specifically remembers his freshman year at homecoming, which “was very fun, though nerve-wracking because [he] liked [his] date a lot.”  Similar to Horton, Zhang explained that as he recalled seeing all of the previous Homecoming Kings’ coronations, that the thought of him one day following in their footsteps “never crossed [his] mind.”

As the tradition goes, once the king is crowned, he shares a dance with the queen.  Horton and Zhang happily danced to the well-known R&B song “With You” by Chris Brown, a moment which Horton described as “really enjoyable” and which compelled Zhang to describe as “awesome; I love Katie!”

On their overall experience at this year’s Homecoming, both Horton and Zhang resolutely asserted that it was “not even comparable to the other years.” In addition, Horton professed her graciousness by stating “I want to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity; you guys are indescribably wonderful!”  On his experience of being in charge of the whole dance, Zhang explained, “I enjoy having all the responsibility on me and I love being able to make an event that provides so many other people an opportunity to have a memorable time.” Clearly, the 2011 title of Homecoming King and Queen could not have been given to any two more deserving, hardworking, and humble West High warriors.