Normal is super fun for senior basketball player and 2021 Homecoming Queen

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Skyline Schools 2020 and 2021 Homecoming candidates included (front, from left) Ethan Haskett, Molly Meiklejohn, Tyler Wray, Cassidy Spease, Aden Temanson, Kyrian Keeling; (back) Jackson Wallace, Emily Allphin, Hunter Egging, Sharity Adams, Hunter Berens, Falicity Riggs. A recognition ceremony was held February 5, prior to the start of the Skyline girls basketball game vs. Burton.

Skyline School students celebrated homecoming last week in Pratt. The girls dressed up in beautiful dresses, the guys wore outfits that showcased their personalities, the week at school was filled with costume days and dedicated decorating. During the Friday evening ceremony, the candidates were nervous about where to go and how to stand, the pep band played, people clapped and cheered - it was so much like a normal homecoming that 2021 Skyline Winter Homecoming Queen Kyrian Keeling just couldn't stop smiling.

"It was so much fun to actually decorate for something," Keeling said. "We haven't gotten to do a lot of special activities that we normally do as seniors this year because of the pandemic, but the whole spirit week was great. I woke up on Friday and said, 'Oh my gosh it's homecoming today!' It was super fun to do something normal for once. I loved it."

Skyline Schools actually combined two homecoming celebrations into their special night of events on Friday, February 5, crowning 2020 Fall Homecoming King Tyler Wray and Queen Cassidy Spease, and 2021 Winter Homecoming King Aden Temanson and Queen Kyrian Keeling. 

Admission was limited as per KSHSAA rules, and everyone in the stands wore masks. But even though there were empty seats in the Thunderdome, that didn't bother Keeling.

"It was just really nice to have what we had," she said. "I was excited to be part of it."

All Skyline senior girls were given the opportunity to participate as a homecoming candidate since there are only nine total senior girls this year. Keeling was the only senior girl basketball player who agreed to be part of the candidate group, so even though she was able to dress up for afternoon ceremonies on Friday, at the start of the girls basketball game when the candidates and winners were presented to the public, she wore her basketball uniform.

But it was a good night to be a Skyline basketball player in uniform as the Skyline Lady Thunderbirds won a decisive victory over Burton, 54-27.

"I've learned a lot from basketball," Keeling said. "It really helps you learn to work with others, to communicate."

Skyline High School basketball player and senior Kyrian Keeling (second from right) passes the ball to her teammate under the goal during a pre-game warmup Friday, February 5. Working together and developing communication skills are postive reasons to play basketball, Keeling said.

Keeling said she hopes to take what she's learned on the court, and in the classroom to the next level as she wants to be a teacher someday.

"I'm undecided about what I want to teach but I have always really liked FACS classes. I would love to teach that at an elementary or a high school level," she said.

Keeling's list of favorite things to do include cooking, baking, having fun with friends and family, riding horses - all normal things for a normal high school girl. If the pandemic has taught this high school student anything, it is that normal can be super fun.