, Muskogee, OK

Local News

September 22, 2012

Homecoming queen at FG is Taylor made

Several candidates share the name

— FORT GIBSON — Taylor Sparks admitted to feeling trepidation Friday before her full name was called as Fort Gibson’s 2012 homecoming queen.

Not only was the Fort Gibson High School senior up against 24 other queen candidates — each representing a club or team — four of them had the first name  Taylor and one had the last name Taylor. The queen is chosen by the FGHS student body.

“I was shaking when the announcer said, ‘Taylor,’ and then said my last name,” said Taylor Sparks, who represented FFA. Referring to her fellow candidates, she added, “We were all just kind of waiting.”

The other Taylors were Taylor London, representing basketball; Taylor Gandara, representing cheerleading; Erin Taylor, representing National Art Honor Society; Taylor Cosby, representing slowpitch softball and Taylor O’Laughlin, representing drama.

Taylor Sparks’ father, Troy Simmons, also admitted to being nervous as he escorted her across the football stadium.

“I was nervous. She was nervous. Both of us were shaking when they called her name,” he said. “We didn’t think an FFA candidate would get it two years in a row.”

The 2011 homecoming queen, Hunter Jaynes, also represented FFA.

Taylor Sparks said being crowned the homecoming queen was the first of several honors she hopes to receive this year. As a freshman, she showed a reserve grand champion pig at a regional livestock show.

She hopes to show the grand champion pig this school year, she said.

She is also active in soccer. Teresa Gandara, the mother of one of Taylor’s friends, called her “Sparky.”

“She’s like a spark plug, and she’s just awesome,” Gandara said. “Defensively, she is extremely competitive and wants to win every time.”

After high school, Taylor Sparks plans to attend Oklahoma State University and major in math or agricultural education.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or

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