Queen of the Warriors

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 18, 2005

To the Nansemond River crowd at Friday’s Homecoming football game, Stacey Smith might not have looked very thrilled.

Not when her name was called as the school’s Homecoming Queen for 2004-05. Not when principal Thomas McLemore placed the crown on her head, or when 2003-04 winner Natasha Hill hugged her. Not even when Smith took a victory lap around the track, waving to the fans from the back of volleyball coach’s Robin Hirsch’s red convertible.

Hundreds might have been watching Smith. But no one saw the truth.

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&uot;I acted like I wasn’t excited,&uot; she said. &uot;But it was hard to contain it. I didn’t have time to think, I was so excited.&uot;

The captain of the school basketball team, member of the school BETA and Future Business Leaders of America clubs and proud owner of a 3.7 grade point average, Smith’s journey to Lady Warriors royalty (River is the only high school in Suffolk that doesn’t honor a Homecoming King) began at the beginning of the year.

&uot;I thought I would be a good representative of Nansemond River,&uot; she said. &uot;I represent everything it stands for, quality and good people.&uot;

She handed out candy and stickers, and placed posters around the school. At halftime of her team’s battle with Oscar Smith Friday (unfortunately, they fell, 42-0), Smith and the rest of the Homecoming Court walked across the field.

&uot;In competition, you have to be confident,&uot; she said. &uot;That’s what competition is all about.&uot;

From the loudspeaker, Ashley Unmussig’s name was boomed as the first runner-up. Then came Smith’s crowing and royal ride.

&uot;I felt like a celebrity,&uot; she said. &uot;I’m going to celebrate with lost of friends and lots of family.&uot;

For the next year, she’ll be representing River as its Homecoming Queen. But two months before that term ends, Smith will complete her tenure at River, and hopes to continue it at Old Dominion University or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She hopes to become a child psychologist.

&uot;I love children and working with them,&uot; she said. &uot;Kids are our future. Being a psychologist lets you have a one-on-one relationship, helping with their problems and concerns. There’s more deep information.&uot;