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Jasper County Tribune

Baxter Royalty

Baxter Schools Celebrate Homecoming

BAXTER — Lightning may have caused a delay in Baxter’s football game Friday, but the school district’s gymnasium was filled with thunder and school spirit the night before.

The Baxter Community School District had its postponed homecoming
festivities this past Thursday and Friday, featuring a parade, prep rally and football game. Originally, homecoming week was supposed to be in mid-September, but tragic events resulted in the week pushed back to the start of October.

Royalty honors went to King Will Clapper, 17, and Queen Lauren Ratliff, 17, during the rally.

“It’s exciting,” Ratliff said. “I wasn’t expecting to win, so I don’t know. I’m just humbled that people think that way of me. I was mostly surprised that I won.”

Ratliff, the daughter of Jerry and Carrie Ratliff, has spent her time with cross country, track, yearbook and Big Bold Little Bolt. Ratliff isn’t sure where she wants to attend college yet, but she intends to study public relations.

Clapper has been involved football, basketball, track, FFA, student council and Baxter Area Youth Group. He is also undecided at which college he plans to attend, but want to study agriculture since his dad is a farmer, and play football in college. On Baxter’s football team, Clapper plays right guard on offense and nose guard on defense.

For Clapper the son of Trent and Mickolyn Clapper, he was also shocked that he won, but was hoping one of his buddies would win.

“We’re all really good friends, so we were all just happy to be on the court,” Clapper said. “Homecoming was awesome. It’s my last one, so I’m going out exactly how I want. Dancing with the cheerleaders and everybody was really fun.”

The festivities started Thursday evening with a grilled cheese dinner at the Community Building, followed by a parade with the homecoming court in their cars and the football team on a fire truck.

The prep rally featured a gymnasium full of community members who watched several performances of the cheerleaders (including football players), introductions to the volleyball, cross country and football teams, band performances and the coronation of the king and queen.

Other court members aside from Clapper and Ratliff include Made Gowdy, Peyton Johnston, Brendyn Padget, Gracie Bethards, Piper Larson and Sydney Schmidt. Kindergarteners Logan Moses and Sloan Hasselbrink were elected by their class to escort the king and queen at all presentations.

Due to the threat of weather, the start time for the football game on Friday was moved up to 5 p.m., canceling the planned tailgate supper. Lightning was spotted after the National Anthem, causing a half-hour delay.

Halftime featured the presentation of the homecoming court, as well as performances from the marching band and dance teams.

Throughout the week, students showed their school spirit with dress-up days including a Hawaii theme, powder puff games and sand volleyball games.

“We were making a lot of great memories as a class,” Ratliff added. “I’ll look back and be thankful for that.”

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