After a football player and members of the coaching staff tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, the Crossett homecoming festivities were forced to change.

This year’s homecoming was already going to be different with COVID-19 in the picture, but then news of a hurricane coming through changed them even more.

On Wednesday it was announced that the homecoming football game would be played on Thursday night instead of Friday night because of the expected weather. 

This prompted meetings about the traditional Friday afternoon coronation ceremony and how the events would be changed to accommodate moving the football game. 

Coordinator April Adams announced that though the game would be on Thursday the Crossett administration had decided to keep the coronation ceremony for Friday afternoon. At that time they still planned for the girls to be escorted by their father’s across the football field in a pregame ceremony. 

However, about 4:50 p.m. on Thursday, 25 minutes before the maids were due at the field for the pregame ceremony, the Crossett sports administration announced that they had to cancel the game after a player tested positive for COVID-19.

Not only were the night’s events canceled, but the entire football team being forced to quarantine meant that the senior football players would not be available to escort the maids during the Friday ceremony. 

Adams decided that the fathers could fill in, and since the girls and their father’s were already in their game night attire, they decided to do photos and a run through of the Friday ceremony.

The coronation ceremony on Friday afternoon was open to limited guests and live streamed for the public. 

Students throughout the building watched the streaming from their classrooms. There was no traditional pep rally or talent show, but the Eaglettes and cheerleaders did get to perform one dance each.

There were several things about the ceremony that differed from previous years. The absence of the band meant recorded music only, and the absence of the talent show made the ceremony last only a fraction of the time.

Jada Cooks was crowned queen by superintendent Gary Williams instead of being crowned by the previous year’s queen.

The announcers honored the senior football boys by reading their names and information just as they would if they had walked during the ceremony. 

Their photos were projected on the jumbo screen in the middle of the arena.

“It was not at all how we wanted it to be, but I’m glad we got to do it,” Adams said.

Superintendent Gary Williams said he appreciated how hard his staff worked to make this happen for the students even though it was far from ideal and the obstacles seemed to be ever coming.

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