September 13, 2023 812 PM
MARFA — The cement steps of Martin Field filled with Shorthorn fans on Friday night who rallied to witness the crowning of this year’s homecoming court and football victory against the Fort Hancock Mustangs.
Retired Coach Jay Foster’s familiar voice rang out from the press box as spectators, decked out in purple and white T-shirts, purchased pickles and Hot Cheetos smothered in nacho cheese before settling in for the homecoming court procession.
Homecoming court nominees — freshman, sophomore and junior duke and duchesses as well as senior queen and king candidates — and their escorts, introduced by Athletic Director Linda Ojeda, made their way to the center of the track, anxiously awaiting the final tally.
Students’ football uniforms and formal evening dresses were decorated with flashy ribbon and feather mums — a uniquely Texan homecoming tradition. The scent of wet grass drifted from the field. Ojeda first announced the prince and princess, seniors Esdras Flores and Liani Salcido. Up next was this year’s king and queen — seniors Luis Solis and Fernanda Rivera.
Interim Superintendent Arturo Alferez bestowed upon the royals sashes, bouquets of flowers and crowns. Families rejoiced and students posed for photographs for the yearbook.
Rivera said she was very nervous as Ojeda was announcing the winners and was “honored to be elected by [her] peers.” Solis said he felt slightly more confident, sure his and Fernanda’s hard work campaigning would earn them the coveted titles. He said he was “ecstatic” with how the entire homecoming evening went.
“It was such a great way to start off my senior year,” said Solis. “During the game, after I got crowned, I think that I played better than ever before. I had a few tackles and an interception touchdown!”
After the Shorthorn Stampede, signaling the start of the varsity football game, Marfa very quickly scored a touchdown thanks to Derick Campos and kept scoring, ending the first quarter with a score of 42-0. Earlier on in the evening the junior high team fell 0-18 to the Mustangs, who traveled two hours to compete against Marfa.
The cheer squad made noise throughout the game via their well-rehearsed cheers — shouting “F-I-G-H-T, fight for victory” and “beat those Mustangs” — and with celebratory rings of the touchdown bell. After the sun set on the trees and buildings surrounding the field, the Shorthorns proceeded to defeat the Mustangs 56-0 underneath luminous Friday night lights.
PHOTOS of each Homecoming Candidate and their escorts: