For the fifth year in a row, a Harker Heights High School volleyball player clinched the title of homecoming queen. This year the queen, senior Breanna Gelsinger, will represent the school and the volleyball squad Sunday at the America’s Homecoming Queen pageant in Irving.
“I walked on the field holding onto both of my parents because I was so nervous and I was saying to them ‘It’s not going to be me, It’s not going to be me,” the senior said. “Then when they called my name I was like ‘that’s me’ and I started to freak out.”
To be in the running for the crown, interested seniors needed to get 20 signatures from fellow students, five signatures from staff members, be in good academic standing and have good school attendance.
After campaigning for two weeks, the six members of the court — three girls and three boys — were announced over the loud speaker.
“I was surprised I even made the court,” she said of being one of 12 seniors vying for the crown.
As Breanna made her coronation walk across the football field in October, instead of cheers she heard boos and spent the next few weeks on the rumor mill.
“I saw some nasty posts on Twitter that I shouldn’t have won,” she said. “People were even saying that my mom worked for the school and counted the votes in my favor, but she’s a stay-at-home mom and had nothing to do with me winning.”
Despite the dark cloud that hung over her crown, Breanna didn’t let it bother her and shrugged it off as high school drama.
While she was searching for college scholarships a few months later, she came across one just for homecoming queens and decided to “give it a shot.”
“I’m really excited and am looking forward to meeting new people,” she said.
America’s Homecoming Queen began in 1981. Participation is by invitation only and open to high school homecoming queens.
As a state finalist, Breanna will compete for a college scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to represent Texas in the national pageant in July.
On Sunday, she will compete against 30 or 40 other queens from across the state in personal interviews and an evening gown competition.
There is no swimsuit or talent competition.
“We are giving these young women, who have shown outstanding leadership ability, the opportunity to achieve their dreams and goals of being our leaders of tomorrow,” a pageant official said.
“We strive to reinforce the teaching of their home, school and church, and work to give each girl the self-confidence to achieve the goals she desires. The selection provides a friendly competition between girls of many differing localities and backgrounds.”
Breanna is also eligible to compete for the title of “America’s Favorite Homecoming Queen.”
The title is determined by voting online.
Go to www.americashomecomingqueen.com/ to vote. Online voting ends July 11.