MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 12, 2013

Homecoming queen is a softball star

Pitcher wins game, shifts gears for coronation

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Rougher football homecoming queen Shaylee Rowland had a lot on her mind this past week.

She had to buy a dress and prepare for two coronations, Friday afternoon and that night at the Rougher homecoming game against Edison.

Shaylee also had a big game of her own to think about — the regional softball game, held the night before the coronation. Muskogee High School’s fastpitch softball team beat Union for the regional championship Thursday.

“I was more worried about softball  than about homecoming,” said Shaylee, who pitches for the team. She he said she was focused on the game until the Lady Roughers beat Union 7-5. The Lady Roughers advance to state for the first time since 2008.

With softball temporarily off her mind, Shaylee spent Friday focusing on the coronations. She said it took about two hours to prepare. It helped that she had chosen her white gown a week earlier.

“I feel good because people think so highly of me to be homecoming queen,” Shaylee said after MHS football player Tramal Ivy placed the crown on her head.

Her mother, Francie Rowland, was proud. She said the coronation was one of several honors, including four years on the varsity softball team.

Rowland said her best quality is that she’s “really genuine.”

“She loves her friends and her softball team,” Rowland said.

Another woman also watched the coronation with pride — Joanne Moran, who taught Shaylee’s kindergarten Sunday school class at First Baptist Church.

“I watched her grow up,” Moran said. “She has a very supportive family. I also taught her brother. When I saw her picture in the paper about the softball game and I just had to come to the coronation.”

In her biography, read during the ceremony, Shaylee credited her parents for always supporting her. She also thanked God, her grandmother, her family and her “softball sisters.”

Shaylee said she hopes to go to college on a softball scholarship and major in radiology. She said she hasn’t chosen a college yet.

Tramal, her escort said he plans to attend Kansas State University and major in business and management.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.