When Danny Hamilton makes his grand entrance as Homecoming king tonight at Central High School's homecoming dance, he will have a beautiful girl on each arm.
For the first time in Central's history, there was a tie this year for Homecoming queen. Seniors Tiffany Kelly and Candy Ebert were both crowned Thursday evening at the school's Homecoming Roar. The crowd cheered in disbelief as Danny, Tiffany and Candy bunched together for hugs and tears.
"Candy and I just stood there and hugged for like a whole minute," Tiffany said Friday. "It was so unbelievable, I was like, I can't believe this."
Candy was excited, too. But, she said, "this all really hasn't hit me yet." She had set herself up to lose, she said, so winning was a big surprise, and sharing the honor was even better.
"To tell you the truth, I'm glad there's two of us," Candy said. "Everyone on the court deserved this, and I'm glad two of us made it."
Luckily, there was just enough time for Lorna Lowe, Central's student government sponsor and one of the Homecoming organizers, to order a second crown. She found about the tie at the end of last week, she said, when the students' votes were tallied.
"We counted the votes four times just to make sure," Lowe said. "It seemed so odd to have a tie, so we counted until we were sure."
Naming two queens was the only option, as far as school officials were concerned.
"It was fair and square. Both girls are equally admired by their peers," said assistant principal Susan Duval.
Neither girl had been elected to the Homecoming court in previous years.
Like Candy, Tiffany never expected to be crowned. In fact, on Wednesday night, Tiffany dreamed that Candy had won, she said. Moments before the announcement Thursday night, she remembers feeling "very, very nervous." Her friends told her that her face was as "white as a ghost."
With Candy's prompting, the five senior finalists prayed together before the announcement was made. They all wished each other good luck before going on stage, Tiffany said.
"All of us weren't close before," she said. "But, being on the court and all, we've gotten much, much closer."
Being a court member is a privilege and an honor, Duval said. To be eligible, students must maintain at least a 2.3 grade-point average (on a scale of 4); be free of school discipline problems; be involved in extracurricular activities; show school spirit; and have a positive personality and good character.