A Closer Look on Homecoming 2021: A Night to Remember.


Abby Rece , Writer

The Homecoming basketball game is an annual event that is chalked full of tradition, and generally light on surprises. What made the 2021-2022 Homecoming unlike any before it, however, is that while members of the Buffalo Island community were celebrating the Homecoming Court in the Mustang Athletic Complex, patiently waiting for the game, a tornado of historic proportion was making its way towards Monette, Leachville, and surround areas. Many Buffalo Island residents were left reeling after the natural disaster that wreaked havoc across the community. Much has been said about that shocking night that ended the yearly Homecoming tradition so abruptly, but in hopes of focusing on a more positive element of the event, I decided to interview the two recipients of Homecoming Queen, to take a deeper dive behind the scenes of the evening.


Halle Navarro earned the distinction of Senior High Homecoming Queen, and the title of Junior High Homecoming Queen went to Freshmen Whitley Hawkins.These are two bright and beautiful young ladies who will surely represent their school well. Behind all the beauty, Queen Halle Navarro has achieved many accomplishments during her high school years. She is also part of many extracurricular activities which include: being in theatrical  productions with the BIC Drama Department, being a part of FFA, and also being in Central Point Acapella Choir. Whitley Hawkins, our Junior High Queen, is also part of many things for our school, such as being on the cheer team. These young ladies have shown their peers and fellow classmates how deserving they are to be elected 2021 homecoming queens.


When asked how winning the homecoming queen made her feel, Halle Navarro said,“I felt very honored.”  Whitley Hawkins said that she was,“Super excited and very surprised!”


When asked how she responded when it was announced she was queen, Navarro said, “Mason Hastings and I were holding hands, and when I heard my name, I was instantly shocked and overcome with excitement and happiness.”


I asked both girls if they were expecting to earn the honor.  Whitley said,“I didn’t think I would get it, but I did think that most of my friends would vote for me.” Halle responded by saying,“I had hope, but it came as a complete surprise, and I’m very honored that my fellow peers gave me the opportunity to be queen.”


When asked how the impact of the tornado affected their experience on homecoming night,  Whitley responded by saying,“It didn’t ruin it at all, I just believe the night was cut short.” Halle responded by saying,“I wish that I would’ve gotten to enjoy the moment longer, but what should’ve felt like a perfect night was brought to fear and misfortune. In the moment, I wasn’t worried about sitting in the stands, but I was more worried about getting home safe with my family.”


Both were asked how their experience was the night of homecoming. In response to this, Whitley Hawkins said,“It was definitely one to remember, it was very crazy just trying to go from having fun to having to rush home to get somewhere safe.” Navarro echoed this sentiment, saying ,“It started off as an almost perfect night but shortly became chaotic; it was saddening that we had such a short time to experience the Homecoming.”