Philomath High School named its new homecoming queen during halftime at Friday night’s Warrior football game.

Five homecoming princesses walked in front of spectators at the stadium anticipating the results of which princess would be voted by the student body voted as their 2017-18 homecoming queen. Each princess wore a gown and crown. Just after 8 p.m. Friday, senior Sarah Buddingh, was announced as the queen.

“I feel very honored,” Buddingh said. “It’s a very special experience.”

Princesses were selected by their peers during two rounds of voting. First-round voting named nominees within each class. The top five from each class and six from the senior class were then voted on again. High votes from each class become nominees for queen.

When asked why she thought she had won, Buddingh’s best friend, Hailey Davis, who stood next to Buddingh after her win, quickly answered.

“Because everybody loves her,” said Davis. “And she’s also the student body president so everybody knows her.”

Buddingh added that her win made her proud because her mom, Connie Buddingh, was also the senior homecoming queen when she attended Philomath High School.

Another princess, Ashlynn Wulk, sophomore, also shared the title of homecoming princess with her mom, Shannon Smith.

“My mom was very proud because she was a princess in high school,” said Wulk. “And my dad was surprised (at the nomination) because I’m so quiet.”

Wulk believed she was nominated because of her involvement with basketball and the number of friends she has on the team. 

Upon hearing Buddingh named as queen, Wulk gave her a hug and offered her congratulations, as did the other princesses — freshman Danielle Beck, junior Jamie Chambers, and senior Mariam Coskey.

Buddingh has been on the student government cabinet the past two years. This is her first year as president. Because of her duties on the cabinet, she was also involved in organizing homecoming week festivities which began on Monday, Oct. 2.

The week included theme days such as Mega Action Monday, Cartoons Tuesday, Western Wednesday, and The Classics on Thursday. Friday was Fear the Tribe day, a time for the Warriors to get pumped up for the evening’s football game against North Marion. (See details from the game on page B1.)

On Wednesday, the underclassmen claimed victory over the upperclassmen during the Powder Puff football game. A bonfire for students and their families followed the game on Wednesday evening. Friday's events included a homecoming parade.

Saturday night ended the week’s festivities with the semi-formal homecoming dance.

Overall, Buddingh was happy with the turnout and participation of homecoming week.

“Involvement has been incredible with all the activities planned,” she said. “I’ve been really impressed with the student body and cabinet.”

Buddingh plans to attend Eastern Oregon University after graduation. She wants to study anthropology and sociology in hopes to become a youth counselor. She will return to next year’s homecoming game to crown the new queen.

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