TROY — There was a lot of laughter among those who rode in the Sunday afternoon parade honoring the 2020 seniors of Troy High School.

Darkening skies and wind gusts saw them off from Raymond Mays Middle School on West Main Street. Smattering clusters of people waited along their route through town.

Elissa Guzman, who spearheaded the event, said the school will have a graduation ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on June 13 at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Crusader Stadium. Her son, Jordan Cotanny, is one of the graduates.

He said he enjoyed playing football and baseball for the Trojans and making best friends with Ben Presley and Adrian Boxton, who are also graduating.

“This district has really been amazing with the kids, especially with the pandemic, trying to reach out and keep them positive and strong-headed,” his mother said. “I thought this would be a good way to show the kids the community is behind them and they are not forgotten.”

Tesha Saxon and Leslie Rose helped her with the parade, she said.

Rose, a teacher at the middle school, said there are 112 graduates in the class. Among them is her daughter, Grace Rose, who said she will enroll in the physician’s assistant program at UMHB.

Two seniors, Raley Downing and Shelby Whiteaker, rode in a truck that was hauling a Charolais heifer in the trailer.

“She just hasn’t seen anything before,” said Downing, who has been active in FFA and 4-H. “I figured her seeing all these people would be good for her, let her know no one’s going to hurt her.”

Downing plans to study animal science at Texas Tech University and Whiteaker will major in biology at Texas Christian University.

Robert Soliz, decorating his Chevrolet Silverado before the parade, said he was very proud of his graduating son, Aurora Soliz. Aurora said he will probably attend Temple College for two years and then go to New Mexico University, to be a social worker.

His little brother, Isaiah, 13, said he wants to be a biologist. Their mother, Michelle, said she was very proud.

Carlie and Phillip Tuck were decorating their Chevrolet Silverado for their graduating son, Hunter Rich, who had run to the house for a moment. She said his siblings, Kayla and Joseph Tuck, would ride in the back seat.

Robert Johnson drove his 2006 Corvette in the parade, accompanied by his graduating son, Matthew Johnson. Matthew plans to study business at Temple College before transferring to the University of Texas at Austin. He caught for the Trojans baseball team, but doesn’t have any college or professional plans.

Before the parade, Mike McMurtry, a 1967 THS graduate and a Gideon, passed out New Testaments with a maroon cover, matching the school colors of maroon and white.

“Congrats to the graduates this year!” he said.

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