The first royalty of King’s Fork High School

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 5, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Raschard Harden had waited six years to become his high school’s Homecoming king. But the 10 seconds that it took to make the announcement during King’s Fork’s game against Wilson on Oct. 22 were the longest of his life.

As Harden, who transferred to Suffolk’s newest school for his farewell year after three at Nansemond River, stood in the school stadium, the public address announcer hesitated.

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&uot;The 2004-05 Homecoming King, making history,&uot; the loudspeaker blared, &uot;is mister…. Mister….&uot; Down on the track, Harden waited for the next words to come.

His journey began in 1998, after his sister Tenesha won the Queen title at Lakeland that year.

&uot;The drive that she had,&uot; Harden said, &uot;it was an experience that you never forget. You have a goal when you set out to accomplish something, and when you achieve it, it’s a feeling you can’t describe.&uot;

The trip started to culminate the week before the game, when he was named one of the Court’s four members.

Meanwhile, Brittany Waller was making up her mind about her own chance at history-making monarchy.

&uot;I didn’t really think about (running for Queen),&uot; said Waller, who also came over from River. &uot;Everyone said I should. A lot of people were saying that I was running before I had even decided.&uot;

Once she did, however, Waller went all the way, putting up posters and flyers and handing out candy. But even with all her support, there were still a few detractors.

&uot;A lot of people didn’t want me to get it, because they said that I was too involved with things,&uot; said Waller, a member of the school’s art club, Crimestoppers organization, and co-president of the senior class (she was also recently selected by the guidance department as one of the school’s most outstanding students, and will be featured in an upcoming issue of the &uot;Discover Suffolk&uot; magazine), and is a member of the Hurrah Players theatrical group.

&uot;I said that they have the same opportunities that I have, and that they should just go ahead and take them.&uot;

Harden and his friends placed roughly 200 posters around the school, many of which bore his photo.

Finally, it was time for the big day. After spending the first half of the contest in the stands, the Court headed down to the track for the royalty proclamation. Carlos Haskins was named the school’s first-ever prince.

&uot;My heart started pounding,&uot; Harden said. &uot;I thought, ‘Is this really happening?’&uot;

The announcer went through an extended preliminary, and Harden silently urged him to hurry up. Then his name was called, and Harden’s head dropped.

Everyone started to clap and cheer, and the crown was placed on his head. Then one of his friends came forward and asked how he planned to take down the hundreds of posters.

Moments later, Chante’ Washington was announced as the princess, and Waller waited to see if she’d get the title.

Before her name could be called, several people in the stands started chanting it; but not as loudly as the speaker that placed her in school history.

&uot;I couldn’t believe it,&uot; she said. &uot;I wasn’t bragging, but I was proud and honored.&uot;

The two now hope to embark on careers in the fashion or music industry. Waller would like to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan or the Parsons School of Design in New York City, while Harden wants to major in fashion or music and Hampton University.

&uot;It taught me to keep hope alive,&uot; he said of the experience. &uot;You can achieve your dreams, and never let anyone stand in your way.&uot;