By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer
With all the hustle and preparation for Friday night’s homecoming game, elementary students Graci Williams and Lydia Schultz seemed the busiest.
They had the task of handing out single roses to each Fort Gibson all-school queen candidate arriving for Friday night’s coronation. Each candidate was the queen representing a different organization or athletic team. Their fathers or other relatives escorted them Friday night.
“I’ll get this one and you get the next one,” Gracie said to her friend before jogging to one of the queen candidates arriving for the ceremony.
They had plenty of roses to be distributed. The all school queen coronation, held before Fort Gibson’s game against the Poteau Pirates, had 28 candidates.
That’s the most candidates ever, said Janet Freeling, a coronation coordinator. She said several new organizations had queens this year. They included Tiger Vision Multimedia and Special Olympics.
Rileigh Stephens, who represented Special Olympics, glistened in silvery earrings and a tiara. She wore a strapless pink gown that wrapped around her petite figure.
“I like it,” she said about representing her organization.
She said her favorite part of the event was riding in the car during the homecoming parade earlier that day.
Rileigh’s father, Tim Stephens, wore a pink tie that nearly matched the gown. He said he was nervous because he never wears a tie.”
Stephens said he was especially proud of his daughter’s honor.
“This was the first year they had a Special Olympics queen,” he said. “This kind of breaks the ice on special needs children. Being a queen gives the kids something to look forward to.”
Rileigh’s all-school queen biography said she hopes to open her own day care.
Adam Satterfield had two reasons to be proud Friday night.
He escorted two daughters — Sanya Januszewski, dressed in a sequined purple gown, and Ranya Januszewski, dressed in coral, represented Tiger Vision Multimedia and soccer.
“It was a little hectic getting them ready,” Satterfield said.
Sanya said there was a delay in some of their beauty appointments Friday.
“We had to take two cars,” Sanya said. “She got her hair done while I got my makeup done, then we switched.”
Ranya said vying with her sister to be all school queen “wasn’t that big of a deal.”
“To be honest, if one of us won, we would have supported each other,” Ranya said.
Sanya is 10 months older than Ranya. Sanya plans to attend the University of Oklahoma and seek a pharmacy degree. Ranya also plans to attend OU and major in computer science and information security. Satterfield said he’s very proud of both girls.
“They’ve grown up to be beautiful girls,” he said. He admitted to being a “little sad” because they were growing up.
Savannah Gray, representing basketball, was crowned all-school queen. Her father, Rodney Gray, escorted her Friday night.
Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogee phoenix.com.