Members of this year’s Granite City High School Homecoming Court pose for a picture Sept. 20. (Front row, from left) Hannah Barnett, Samantha Gihring, Hannah Miller, Claire Ames, Addaya Moore, Alex Bazzell, Robyn Pointer, Kennedi Coakley, Mona Zubi, Ashley Abbott and Rebecca Bazzell; (back row) Ryan Earney, Kendrick Williba, Drew Murphy, Reed Hawkins, Carter Roustio, Jaylin Harper, Brian Ames, Derek LeMaster, Kariem Ali, Trevor Corey and Aubrian Sims.
GRANITE CITY — Five years ago, Kennedi Coakley got emotional when she found out her older sister, Brooke, was selected for the Granite City High School homecoming court.
“I cried every time,” said Coakley, an eighth-grader at the time. “I was so happy for her because everyone looked so pretty and I knew her friends, too. So that was awesome.”
When she was named on this year’s homecoming court, Coakley was all smiles.
“It means a lot because when I was little, I went for my sister and I would always wish that I could be on that,” Coakley said. “‘That would be so cool.’ Everybody looked so pretty and it’s just an honor because you can vote for only two girls and two boys. To know that you’re top picked from your class, it’s a big honor.”
There are 11 girls and 11 boys on this year’s court. Joining Coakley on the court are twins Brian and Claire Ames, cousins Alex and Rebecca Bazzell, Ashley Abbott, Kariem Ali, Hannah Barnett, Trevor Corey, Ryan Earney, Samantha Gihring, Jaylin Harper, Reed Hawkins, Derek LeMaster, Hannah Miller, Addaya Moore, Drew Murphy, Robyn Pointer, Carter Roustio, Aubrian Sims, Kendrick Williba and Mona Zubi.
After one month of school, Coakley has been busy. In addition to being named on the homecoming court, she’s vice-president of the Student Council and a member of the school’s National Honor Society and Renaissance Club.
“This month has been very hectic, so I’m going to miss it when it’s over,” said Coakley, who plans to major in nursing in college. “I thought my senior year was going to be easy. We’ve been having a lot of work to do. The welcome back rally was a lot of preparation. We were getting the theme ready for the homecoming and the football game. I got on the court and I had to get all of these dresses. It’s fun.”
Homecoming week is scheduled for Oct. 3-8. The theme for this year’s homecoming week is Rock The Redbirds, a nod to the Warriors’ homecoming football game opponent, the Alton Redbirds.
Among the activities during homecoming week are the homecoming parade, the Powder Puff football game and the homecoming dance.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Hawkins, who verbally committed to play soccer at Saint Louis University next year. “I think Granite City High School easily has some of the biggest school spirit around this area. So many people participate in every event, so it’s a lot of fun.”
The homecoming king and queen will be introduced Oct. 7 at the football game’s halftime. Members of the court will drive around the track on golf carts.
“I have gone to all of the homecoming football games and it’s been my dream to drive a golf cart around the track,” said Brian Ames, a member of the Scholar Bowl who plans to attend the University of Missouri and major in journalism next year. “I still love the golf carts.”
Zubi, treasurer of the Student Council and a GCHS girls’ volleyball team member, said she’s looking forward to the games — both playing and watching.
“I’m really excited for the Powder Puff game,” she said. “This will be my first Powder Puff game. I’m super excited for the homecoming game. It’s always such a big crowd on homecoming day and it’s an exciting time.”
Seven court members play fall sports at GCHS: Ali (cross country), Brian Ames (soccer), Barnett (volleyball), Corey (football), Earney (football), Williba (football), Zubi (volleyball).