Cole Birklid and Taylor Fournier were crowned Anoka High School’s 2013 Homecoming king and queen at the early morning pep fest Oct. 4.
Ten candidates for king and 10 for queen waited in suspense as the 2011 Homecoming King Ben Sjodin hovered over each of their heads with the crown before placing it upon Birklid’s, then Fournier’s.
Mikk Nestrud, Eli Schipper, Brandon Krone, Roland O-You, Logan Doroff, Stephen Barthold, Mark Thompson, Sam Emerson and Travis Bengston joined Birklid as contenders for king at Anoka.
Other candidates for queen included Cacie Carroll, Brenna Giddings, Jewel Greenwaldt, Allie Kanyetzny, Abbi Madson, Blair Parent, Sydney Perry, Jana Picotte and Alecia Slater.
Before the big moment, the court, seniors selected by their peers to vie for the crown, processed through the fieldhouse as student emcees Derek Lindquist and Estee Sieben introduced them. Submitting introductions gave court members a chance to tell those assembled about their involvement at Anoka High School, recognize family and friends and show their sense of humor.
Birklid is captain of the swim team. He plays in the orchestra and is involved in STAR and at his church. He likes watching “SpongeBob SquarePants” with his best friend, Nestrud.
Fournier is the manager of the girls’ varsity soccer team, volunteers at the Children’s Hospital and participates in the Anoka Royal Ambassador Program.
Fournier was diagnosed with Stage 1a Hodgkins lymphoma at the end of her junior year. Doctors found a softball-sized tumor in her neck because it was pushing on her airway. During the final weeks of school last year, students at Anoka and Andover high schools sold between 500 and 600 T-shirts that read “Taylor Strong.”
In her introduction, read by Lindquist, Fournier thanked everyone for supporting her through her fight against cancer.
Neither Birklid nor Fournier anticipated this honor.
Birklid said that he grew up watching the coronation ceremony and thought it would be a privilege to be king someday because that would mean, unlike most monarchies, that his peers had voted for him.
“I’m just so grateful,” Fournier said.
Friends told her that she was going to win before the coronation, but she wasn’t so sure. “I was just in it for the experience,” she said.
Olivia Koester is at firstname.lastname@example.org