Typically, when students think about homecoming, they think of the queen candidates getting ready for the big night. They think of the dress shopping, hair and makeup prep, and which girl will get the big bouquet at the end of the ceremony. What many people tend to look over, are the male candidates. The 2019 homecoming candidates are seniors, Cole Bixler-Large, Alex Ast, Trace Tjaden, and Drake Beatty.
The first male candidate is Cole Bixler-Large. Bixler-Large participates in cross country, track, StuCo, and C-Club. He has competed in state track twice. The first time, he ran the 800 meters, 4 x 8 relay, and the one mile. In the second year, he competed in the 800 meters, 4 x 4 relay, and 4 x 8 relay. He also ran at the state cross country meet twice. The first year he earned 37th place and last year he got 9th, both in the 5k. When he isn’t competing, he is showing his Indian Pride. Bixler-Large can be found leading the student section at most football games. Bixler-Large and his group of friends have a common goal: to get everyone excited. Bixler-Large noticed that the school spirit had been going down. He wanted it to do the opposite. He says, “Us being excited about it got everyone else excited about it.” Together they plan tailgate parties, give students rides to away games, and get the student section involved. Since Bixler-Large has been leading the crowd, students have been louder than ever. He has noticed more students are going to football games. He also noticed that more people are branching out and talking to each other. He says that students are straying farther from their typical friend groups to reach other students. When Bixler-Large found out he was a candidate, he was very surprised. He is the first person in his family to be nominated. Bixler-Large plans to become either a Physical Therapist or a hunting guide. He is undecided about colleges at this time but hopes to run track.
Alex Ast is not your “typical” homecoming candidate. Ast moved to the district in eighth grade. He has participated in cross country, track, band, jazz band, theater, forensics, and scholar’s bowl. Ast loves being in the band because he really likes playing the drums and he has a good time being in there with all of his friends. He also really enjoys being involved in forensics. He has attended the State Forensics Championship Tournament in Topeka, KS three times. Ast really enjoys competing in Improvised Duet Acting (IDA). He says he also enjoys competing in general because of the fun environment and seeing how far he can go every year. When Ast found out he was elected to be homecoming royalty, his first reaction was “Why me?” Ast states, “It’s usually jocks who are elected. But I’m just a nerd.” Ast enjoys the fine arts while his fellow candidate are athletes. Ast says he, “sticks out like a sore thumb.” Fellow band member, Noah Parker (12), shares his feelings on Ast being nominated. “Honestly it’s pretty surprising. It’s usually the popular kids who are nominated and those are usually kids who are heavily involved in sports. It’s really neat to see someone like Alex to be nominated.” Fellow candidate Cole Bixler-Large also shares, “I feel like it’s a big thing because it’s usually football players who are picked as homecoming king. I think it’s awesome that he has the chance to get it. I think he deserves the win.” In addition to all of this, Ast also spends time creating podcasts with some of his friends. To read more about The Degenerates Podcasts specifically, CLICK HERE:.
Trace Tjaden has been in the spotlight a lot recently. After football quarterback Tanner Cash (11) became injured, Tjaden found out he would be filling the role. Friday, September 27, Tjaden was delivered the news only hours before the Friday night football game against Cheney. He felt so nervous that he actually had to leave class to throw up. He was surprised to be put in this spot. Tjaden shares, “It was a big hit to the team, but I plan on filling this role the best I can.” Besides football, Tjaden also plays basketball and runs track. He is also a member of StuCo, C-Club, Spanish Club, Safe/Sadd, and Kays. Tjaden says StuCo is his favorite club because he really enjoys all of the activities they do. When asked about what he’s looking forward to the most about homecoming night, he said, “Write this down. It’ll be funny. Getting to kiss the homecoming queen in front of the whole town.” Tjaden has already sworn into the Marines. He shares, “I wanted to be apart of something bigger than just a high school team.” Brant Huckaby, former Clearwater student and current Marine, encouraged him to join because of all of the opportunities with being a member of the Marine Corps.
The final male candidate is senior class president, Drake Beatty. Besides being the class president, Beatty is also a member of the National Honor Society (NHS), Safe/Sadd, Kays, and C-Club. Beatty also plays football, basketball, and runs track. Outside the classroom, Beatty spends a lot of time refereeing children’s soccer. He was nominated Referee of the Year at his workplace. When Beatty found out he was a candidate he was very excited. He looked forward to the all-district pep rally because the candidates get to play games. The pep rally was canceled due to weather but StuCo, the cheerleaders, and the homecoming candidates went to the Elementary West building to have a pep rally with the elementary students. The high school students brought football gear and pom poms over and elementary students had to complete a relay where they delivered parts of a football uniform to their teacher. A few more games were played and the Elementary West learned a school chant during the pep rally. Beatty was also really excited about TP night because he enjoys having fun with friends on Thursday night after the bonfire. After this year, Beatty will be attending college to major in business. He wishes to graduate from Wichita State University.