The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm


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    Get to Know the Homecoming Court Nominees


           The Homecoming season has officially kicked off with a record-breaking number of 14 nominees for queen and king this year. 

           The annual tradition of choosing Homecoming royalty has officially begun its course starting with the announcements of its nominees for both king and queen. Released by the Student Council through the senior polls on August 25, the record breaking nominee numbers came from numerous ties in the nominations caused the campus to take notice. The nominees are as follows. 


    Queen Nominations:

    Zoe Cain: 

          Having been doing theatre for all four years of her high school experience, and now serving as the social chair of the Drama Club, Cain acknowledges that it [theatre] is most of her life. However, she also enjoys arts and crafts and sewing. In this upcoming year, she is excited to be a part of the newly instated Disco Club. In the future, Zoe intends on teaching on an educational path from Amarillo College to perhaps West Texas A&M University. However, she is still deciding on which grade level to focus her studies on. As far as the nomination: “I was very surprised; it’s a lot more than I expected it to be because I thought we went to the parade and the football game and we were done but apparently, we have to take pictures and write scripts for videos,” Cain said. “But I am very thankful for those who nominated me.”

    Caroline Girty:

         As an all-around people person, Girty never fails to exemplify her caring personality with anyone and everyone she meets. Once a former cheerleader, she left to pursue other things she loved within the Sandies community. Now, she is a self-proclaimed “choir nerd,” who is a proud member of the Bel Canto Choir. On top of this, she is passionate about her faith and is involved in church-related activities. Girty hopes to attend Oklahoma State University next fall, but is still undecided beyond that and is waiting for the right opportunity to make her decision. Although extremely surprised by the nomination, she is honored by the opportunity. 

    Taylor Held: 

          As the only cheerleader on the court this year,  Held is happy to represent that. Having a huge heart for kids and serving others in need, she attends Trinity Fellowship as an intern who leads and works to diversify her skill set. She has been a part of the cheerleading team at Amarillo High for all four years of high school, but has been a part of competitive cheer for fourteen years and has coached for seven years. Held is also involved in NHS, and PALS, and is the Student Body President. In her downtime, she enjoys small crafts, painting, and photography. As an avid lover of the maths and sciences, Held looks forward to one day joining the medical field and combining her love for missionary and kids with whichever specialization she chooses at Mary-Hardin Baylor University. “I get to be a part of something that I have always looked up to,” Held said. She is more than ready to extend her creative outlet into the whole process of designing sashes, crowns and so much more. 

    Landry Herrick:

          One of Herrick’s favorite things to do is dance, especially in her free time. She currently dances at Windsor Ballet and has been a part of many productions such as the Nutcracker. Within the Sandie community, Herrick is the Choir President, she is in Student Council, Disco Club, Inspire Positivity Club, and a founder of the SODA Chapter. Another one of her passions includes music as she loves utilizing music and playing instruments. One of her guilty pleasures is classical music and the entirety of Chopin’s works. Outside of school, she loves teaching the kids at her church and just overall helping people. Her future plans include either going to Texas A&M or Arkansas and using the inspiration from her faith, and love for Grey’s Anatomy to become a medical missionary one day. Although extremely surprised by the nomination results, she has so much excitement about the process. “I didn’t know it was going to be so much of a commitment,” Herrick said. “I’m excited about the parade and photo shoot.”

    Danielle MacKeown:

          Singing tops MacKeown’s list of favorite things. As a part of the New Sound Choir group, she proudly states that “nothing makes her happier”. With musical influences coming from her grandmother, father and sister, she decided to pick up choir and ended up making New Sound the first year she could. Additionally, she is a Football Lady and a part of NHS. MacKeown’s academic strengths include math and science, and a growing passion of hers is true crime. She plans on completing her first two or so years at West Texas A&M University to absolutely figure out what she wants to do, then perhaps transferring to Texas A&M University. MacKeown shares her experiences of coming to the homecoming parades when she was younger and her sister used to go here and is extremely thrilled to have her opportunity in the spotlight. “It clicked for me about four days ago and I’m like ‘oh my gosh I’m on the court that’s crazy’,” MacKeown said.

    Gracee May:

          All smiles and cheer, Gracee May prides herself on always working to become a difference maker in the community. To her, the importance of the small stuff and smiles can change anyone’s day to become brighter. She is a part of the Fellowship Christian Athletes Association, PALS, and runs track and field for Amarillo High. Her future plans are still in the makings but she is set on becoming a pediatric nurse one day. She is super honored for the opportunity at this shot and knows that it will be a cool experience no matter what. 

    Kianna Ortiz:

          Kianna Ortiz finds passion within her community, church, and most importantly, family. As the oldest sibling, she always strives to be the best role model that she can be to her siblings and to make her parents proud of her accomplishments. Within the Sandie community, Ortiz is involved in Student Council, Key Club, Art Club, and treasurer of NHS. At the moment, she is currently doing an internship practicum at AmTech in the counseling field. After graduation, she has big hopes for attending Angelo State University and attaining a master of science in education, then LPC (Licensed Professional Counselors) certification, and finally, opening a private practice for veterans. In regards to her involvement in her nomination for this year’s court, she is refreshed to see a change in the diversity of the student body getting recognized.  “I have dreamed about this since middle school just because I always saw the same people getting it,” Ortiz said.


    King Nominations: 


    Bradley Alcorn:

         From making time to spend time with his family and friends and his school life, Alcorn he considers himself a leader in his life. He is currently in the band where he plays the trombone but has decided to step out of his comfort zone and become a drum major this year as well. He is also a part of the Loading Crew for the second year, where he is known as the “Haka Master”. The Haka, an old Hawaiian form of intimidation, is performed at football games and Alcorn takes great pride in leading the student body in this traditional chant. After high school, he plans on going to Amarillo College and then to West Texas A&M University. He then plans to attend the Navy Officer Candidate School to hopefully become a fighter pilot and a commercial pilot after that. He is excited and refreshed with the wide variety of candidates that have been chosen this year. “I am extremely honored just to be on the court,” Alcorn said. “I’m glad to see all the friendships that I’ve worked to maintain, have amounted to something.”

    Evan Banner:

        Banner is the founder of the Disco Club and feels “blessed” to have this opportunity. As huge music, craft, design, filmmaking, and photography enthusiast, Banner has always been involved in the art of multimedia and plans to study it in his upcoming future outside of high school. The Disco Club has proven to be such a hit within the population and he is proud of the progress and future of success that he hopes it reaches. “And even if I don’t get it, I’ll be really glad for the other person who will get it,” Banner said. “It will be wonderful.”

    Mason Graham:

            In true senior fashion,  Graham is all smiles and grace when it came to his nomination decision. He holds a very big love and passion for sports, specifically football and basketball. He is a very big part of the Fellowship Christian Athletes leadership group and enjoys spending time with his friends and family. He hopes to one day go play football somewhere and attend a business school to help him get started with a business of his own. 

    John Love:

             As a hopeful innovator for the future, Love is a true builder at heart. Since he lives past the city limits, he spends a lot of time out in the barns working with animals. His creative outlet allows him to tinker with objects and eventually create something totally unexpected. “I like figuring out how things work and seeing how that applies to the real world,” Love said. His future plans include him going to Texas Tech to become an engineer, more specifically a mechanical engineer. Within the walls of Amarillo High, Love is involved in the orchestra and really enjoys playing the cello. While he did not believe that being a nominee was within his “ballpark” he is extremely surprised at the outcome, in the best way possible. 

    Austin Pounds:

           Pounds’ love for music and theatre is what life revolves around as it makes him feel important. He is known around the student body for being involved in many theatre productions and is a big part of the Drama Club. Pounds is also excited to start a new year with the Disco Club. He has been doing mixed martial arts for nearly eight or nine years of his life. Upon graduation, he plans to study to become an actor, but his backup plan is to become a teacher. As for his nomination,  “I think it’s one of the funniest things that ever happened to me,” Pounds said. “I found out in calculus that it was an elaborate plan by them to nominate me.”

    Cooper Thomas:

             Thomas has been involved with the football team for all four years of his high school career and is an Eagle Scout, the highest ranking attainable by the Boy Scouts of America. He also enjoys volunteering in the medical field in places such as the BSA and Northwest hospitals and also the Ronald McDonald House. In his free time, he loves playing the guitar and is also a huge science lover. Thomas plans on attending Texas A&M University as an undergrad to either become a surgeon, doctor or an anesthesiologist. Due to his mom being a pharmacist and practicing medicine, he is even more enticed with the field and to find out about the wonders of science and specifically how medicine can interact with the body. He is “more surprised than anything” upon hearing of the homecoming nominations, but is happy and excited to see where everything goes. 

    Will Vincent:

           As an actively involved student, Vincent has left a mark on the community. He is known to be heavily involved within the student council office and in football and baseball. He loves hanging out with his friends and family and is also  passionate about his walk with faith. After graduation, Vincent wants to head off to Texas A&M University, or anywhere on the coast, to become a writer or an orthopedic surgeon. Like many, he is very thankful for the vote and the experience. “If six years ago, in middle school, if you were to tell me that I would be nominated for Homecoming King, I would’ve given myself a pat on the back for coming this long way,” Vincent said. “I’m in there with a bunch of my good friends so it’s a win-win for me either way.”

    The winners are to be announced at the Homecoming football game at the Dick Bivens Stadium on Friday. 

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    About the Contributor
    Ashley Escobar, Editor
    Hey y'all! My name is Ashley Escobar and I am a senior here at AHS! This is officially my second year on staff and I am so excited to be one of your editors this year! I'm involved in a few clubs this year such as being Spanish club prez, an NHS member, and a Student Council member, and not to mention I work on the side to provide for my dog's chew toy addiction. Some of my favorite things to do are going on night walks with my dog, reading, hanging out with my friends, and watching my top comfort movies on repeat.