The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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The Sweet Reality of the Homecoming Court

Courtesy of Marissa Garapolo
The Sweet Sixteen court enjoyed their day of filming together in their pajamas.

If you were in Libertyville High School within the last few weeks, there is a good chance you saw pictures of some senior girls hung in the windows of their LSTs, saw their faces and names in the morning announcements, or even saw one of them walking around with a tiara on their head.

For these 16 lucky senior girls, the sweet 16 homecoming court was something that many thought would never happen, so when it did, they were caught off guard by the surprising number of emotions, duties, and responsibilities that came along with it. Apparently, according to these senior girls, not everything on the sweet 16 court is as “sweet” and easy as one would assume.

The Nomination

Nominated by their fellow seniors, the sweet 16 court members were all caught off guard by their nominations that were revealed in their third-period classes on the weekly “Wake Up Wildcats” announcement.

“When they announced my name, everyone in my class immediately turned to look back at me and I could feel the butterflies in my stomach and my face turning hot with happiness and excitement,” said senior Marissa Garapolo when she heard her named.

Not only were classmates excited for them, but some court members had a lot of support from their friends.

“My friends were happy for me and very supportive,” said Amelia Schmitt.

Those like Alyssa Seefeldt were especially lucky since she even had some close friends that were also on the court: “[It was] fun to share the experience with them and kinda go through the process of everything from being in other people’s videos to what dress [we wore] to the assembly.”

The Responsibilities

After the official announcement, the nominated seniors had to get started with their responsibilities and expectations immediately  after school that day in a meeting where they got to formally meet the 15 other court members.

Emma Barina was among the girls who was truly overjoyed when she met the other girls because they were all so down-to-earth, diverse, and ironically, “sweet.” She was excited to be able to film with these fifteen.

Among the many responsibilities and expectations for the elected girls was making an intro video to reflect who they are, choosing music to walk out to at the assembly, a dinner for them and their families, walking out in the Homecoming game, sitting atop the float at the Homecoming parade, and picking out dresses and escorts for the dance.

Although the video portion of the process was fun, it was also very stressful to many court members, including Mara Dragin and Annie Thompson.

“There was a limited amount of time that you had to think of an idea, so it was stressful,” claimed Dragin. She later produced a video of her own version of the famous “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” intro song.

To Thompson, it wasn’t so much the idea behind the video but more of how it would be presented. She nervously waited for people’s reactions at Friday’s assembly when it would be broadcasted to the whole school.

With paperwork and a jam-packed homecoming week, Abby Jeffery felt the tension building: “Filming was super stressful and I feel like there’s a ton of pressure to make the videos funny and not uncomfortable, but it was completely worth it.”

The Assembly

On Friday, after the shortened day, the court and fellow students gathered in the main gym to participate in the annual Homecoming assembly where they knew that one of them would be crowned queen.

Stephanie McLaughlin even thought that the decision was nearly impossible to make because of the endless number of names that deserved to be on the court as well.

Danielle Pacholski, who later that day ended up being crowned Homecoming Queen, first had to say that “the school can’t go wrong with crowning any of these girls as the Homecoming queen. It’s such a fantastic group of girls.”

After being crowned the senior class’ 2015 Homecoming Queen, Pacholski was overwhelmed: “I was so surprised and excited and just honored to have been chosen; it was an indescribable feeling of pure joy.”

The Parade

On the cold, windy Saturday morning last weekend, the court arrived at the Libertyville train station with blankets, coffee, and tiaras so they could sit atop the float for the parade down Milwaukee Avenue.

As the parade down Mainstreet Libertyville began, many recalled seeing all of the little girls waving in excitement towards them, hoping that one day, they too would be sitting on the float with a tiara on their head. Court member Julia Wilson recalls being that very same girl hoping to be on the court. Now that she was, she couldn’t believe how it had come full circle.

As the parade came to a close, emotions arose.

Mary Ahern recalls the mutual feelings among the girls: “We all cried together on the float because we were so thankful to have experienced something like this together.”

The Dance

The 16 girls’ final presentation came at Saturday’s Homecoming dance. About halfway through the dance, the sea of students split down the middle of the main gym and the final walkouts of the sweet 16 court began to the music of their choice.

“I feel like when all girls go to a dance they feel a bit pressured to look their best but it’s also a lot of fun to get your makeup done and pamper yourself,” senior Nina Knuti explained when asked if she felt any pressure to look her best now that she was on the court.

Most of the court agreed that there was no difference in the amount of effort given to look their best. Regardless of their court status, the girls were mainly there to just have fun with their friends, and the walkouts were simply a perk.

Jacqui Widmark explained how her final moment felt: “My brother and best friend escorted me, which was really cool because I got to experience the walkout with my two favorite people.”

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The Sweet Reality of the Homecoming Court