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King, Chastain crowned; seniors win float contest
Homecoming - King & Queen.jpg
Uriah King was crowned Homecoming King and Jessica Chastain was crowned Homecoming Queen before Friday night’s football game at Nunley Stadium. For more coverage of Homecoming festivities, see the two-page spread on 4B and 5B.

The Homecoming King is really a King – Uriah King that is.

On a night where occasional showers couldn’t dampen the spirit of Warren County High School Homecoming, King was crowned Homecoming King and Jessica Chastain was crowned Homecoming Queen.

“It really is an honor to be able to represent my school this way,” said King, who enjoys running track. He was rumored to be a favorite to win the title, but says he was still shocked to hear his name called.

In recent years, Warren County has bestowed the titles of Homecoming King and Queen on a couple who is dating. Jessica was asked if she and Uriah are an item.

“Not yet,” she said, “but he better get on his stuff.”

Jessica and Uriah agreed they are good friends for now and decided to leave it at that. They both enjoy TikTok videos and said they planned to make their own video about Homecoming, but ran out of time when the festivities were moved before the game in an effort to avoid rain.

Jessica is a member of the Lady Pioneer soccer team who has traveled to places such as Costa Rica and Hawaii.

The class float competition commands as much attention as anything when it comes to WCHS Homecoming. This year was a hotly contested battle, but the seniors emerged victorious with their float that declared “One Last Ride.” The float featured a motorcycle rider on a motorcycle which shot flames from its tailpipes.

“We deserved to win,” declared senior Aleya Esparza. “We had the best float for sure.”

WCHS junior Kayden Coates admitted the senior float was impressive.

“They had flames and we didn’t,” said Kayden. “It comes down to that.”

In a bit of a surprise, the junior float finished third. It was an impressive replica of a Warren County landmark, Chicken Chef. The sign outside the restaurant advertised the daily special as “Fried Eagle.”

“We should have had smoke coming out of a chimney, or had an eagle getting dipped into a fryer,” said Coates. “Those were two of my ideas.”

The Chicken Chef concept didn’t sit well with some seniors.

“It’s Chicken Chef, not Eagle Chef,” said Esparza. “We’re playing the Eagles, not the Chickens.”

Floats that shoot flames have been extremely successful in winning the Homecoming Parade competition in recent years. Asked how the students managed to get flames to shoot from the motorcycle tailpipes, senior Juju Pyburn summed it up best when she said, “That’s what the parents were for.”

Hannah Richardson, a senior, was thrilled with the victory. “We put in the work and we brought home first place,” she said.

The sophomores were giddy about their second-place finish. Their float featured a mail truck and packages. It urged the Pioneers to deliver a loss to Shelbyville.

“We consider this a win,” said sophomore Isabella Pennington of the second-place finish.

She admitted it’s a difficult hurdle to clear to beat the senior class in the float competition. “I mean they’re seniors,” she said.

The Homecoming Parade energized downtown McMinnville on Friday afternoon with students cheering, the Pioneer Pride Marching Band playing, and enthusiasm overflowing. 

As for the football game itself, the Pioneers lost to Shelbyville in a hard-fought battle, 41-26.