Let’s Take It To The Muleriders

Katie Smith

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After the presentation of homecoming candidates on Thursday night, Henderson students headed over to the lawn of the Barkman House. The band was playing and the cheerleaders were performing for the annual homecoming pep rally. Smoke filled the air, although it wasn’t as prevalent as usual, because the normal, raging bonfire had been replaced with tiki torches due to dry weather conditions.

All the contestants stood around nervously, because they knew at the conclusion of the rally, the top 10 would be announced. It would prove that all their hard work campaigning paid off. And it would ensure that they were still in the running for queen.

“I’m really excited and nervous because being in the top 10 would be awesome. But if I don’t get in, I’ll be fine because it was a good experience.” said Bailey Schlesier, junior midlevel education major and Kappa Sigma representative.

But before she and the other 31 contestants found out their fate, Coach Scott Maxfield and some of the senior football players came on stage to talk about the game. Maxfield presented Lawson Shultz, Dallas Hardison and Josh Davis to the crowd before jokingly asking everyone what they thought of Davis’s hair. He encouraged the students to get “reddie” for Saturday’s big game against Southern Arkansas University.

“Let’s get loud and show those mules what we’re made of!” Maxfield said.

He was echoed by Hardison, who said, “Let’s take it to these Muleriders!”

Afterwards, the cheerleaders did several performances, the band played, and Ricki Rebollar emceed. He took his time and made the crowd very antsy as the announcement of the top 10 came closer.

Then nine of them were announced “in no particular order.”

#3 Maddie McJunkins

#28 Rylie Prescott

#5 Devan Jester

#27 Skye Austin

#11 Brittany Jones

#26 MyKala Arnold

#18 Jasmine Spear

#25 Kayla Beard

#21 Kristin Bell

And then everything got quiet. Even Rebollar made a comment about how he could have heard a pen drop. All the other contestants longed to hear their names, and the groups waited to hear their candidates called. He drew out the suspense for what seemed like hours, before calling out “number 22, Sasha Zavala.”

The crowd cheered long and loud for all the ladies who made it into the top 10.

Following the announcement, Maddie McJunkins, junior physical education major and HPER club representative, said. “It is an honor to feel loved by so many of my peers.”

The pep rally was concluded with the playing of the alma mater and the fight song. And then the drumbeat began.