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A queen is crowned
Homecoming court named at halftime

It's a good thing she had two escorts, because the longer she waited on the football field, the more difficult it was for her to stand.

"I got so nervous, my legs started shaking, especially when they hadn't called my name out yet," said Emily Usry, who was crowned Thomson High School's homecoming queen during halftime of last Friday night's football game.

First runner-up Kierra Brown said she didn't have Emily's problem.

"I was ready. I was counting down the seconds," she said after the ceremony. Kierra added that she was "very excited" to have won first runner-up.

Leah Powers was second runner-up for the queen's court. Kristen Price was third runner-up, and Sara Swan was fourth runner-up.

Emily chose both her father, Kevin Usry, and her stepfather, Chris Adams, as her escorts. Her mother, Tracey Adams, said she was "just thrilled" that Emily was crowned the school's new homecoming queen.

"She's worked hard throughout school. Ever since she was small, she's always tried to do her best at everything ... Everything she's about to do, she puts an extra mile on it," Mrs. Adams said, adding that Emily is dually enrolled at Thomson High and Augusta Technical Institute and teaches tumbling classes at the Y130.

Other members of the homecoming court were Jalecia Hill, Malita Jones, Shanteria Lowe, Haley Tam and Melonie Wall.

Emily was crowned by last year's homecoming queen, Zakia Wilson, who sympathized with Emily.

"I was nervous for all of them out there," Miss Wilson said. "I'm proud of the decision the student body made, and congratulations to all of them."

The spirit week activities included dress-up days and a penny war to benefit a scholarship fund. The penny war was a "best legs" contest with the senior football players. Each penny donated counted as a vote, and other monies were subtracted from the player's tally.

Instead of having an assembly where each of the homecoming queen candidates was introduced, a commercial was made of each girl and then shown during lunch in the cafeteria.

And for the first time in seven years, a bonfire was held the Thursday evening before homecoming, along with a community pep rally earlier in the week.

"The week has been overwhelming, but the bonfire was definitely the most fun," Emily said.

Royalty retired

Thomson High's 2008-09 Homecoming Queen, Zakia Wilson, came from Atlanta to attend the homecoming game. Miss Wilson said she is attending Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, where she is studying to be a mortician.

She said she is the first person in her family to be interested in such a career.

"It's a calling," she said. "I was influenced by a former teacher because she noticed I knew so much about the human body. It's going great, and I like it."

Web posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009

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