A homecoming to remember in Grand Haven

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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. -- Thousands of people braved the cold for the homecoming football game at Grand Haven High School on Friday.

While the boys in blue had their share of supporters, it was this year's homecoming court that had the crowd on the edge of their seats.

"We nominated four of the special ed students for homecoming court for seniors and there's 12 students total," Sydney Watson said.

Watson, a senior at Grand Haven High School, said she's been working with students who have disabilities since she was a child herself. While in high school, she's participated in several programs, including the one she created: POPS, Power Of Peer Support.

Sydney said watching the four students she helped nominate gain the support of their entire community is like nothing she's ever seen.

The four students who stood proudly next to their peers showed that beauty is more than just makeup and tiaras.

"They're so school spirited," Watson said. "I always see them smiling in the hallway and they're some of my favorite people."

The were two students Watson was especially rooting for. She said she couldn't think of anyone more deserving of the crown than Bradley Langemaat and Brigid Marcinkus .

Watson said prior to their names hitting the ballot, she spread the word about the duo throughout social media. Once the rest of their classmates got to know them the votes started adding up quickly. It was announced at school that both Langemaat and Marcinkus were in the running.

On Friday night, Langemaat and Marcinkus proved again how well loved they are by their fellow students. They were crowned this year's 2014 homecoming queen and king.

"I started crying so many times when I heard her name and everyone is so excited and she's just one of the nicest people you will ever meet and she's just thrilled," Watson said of Marcinkus.

FOX 17 got a chance to catch up with the queen. She told us how she plans to celebrate.

"We're going to have chocolate cake, hot fudge and cookies," Marcinkus said.

FOX 17 also got the chance to get some one on one time in with the king. Langemaat said he wasn't surprised that he walked away with the night's highest honor. He told us he was excited by all the love and support he's received throughout the night.

While the community showed pride in the two people chosen to represent their high school, perhaps the person most proud was Langemaat's father. Brent Langemaat said his son was born with cerebral palsy and weighed under two pounds.

"It's incredible. When we first got the news that he was going to be in the court it was extremely emotional--we were incredibly proud of Bradley," he said. "Just to see that his senior class would pick him out of all of this is just incredible and amazing.

Brent Langemaat said Bradley could be heading to college next fall.

"[He's] an extremely happy kid. Very funny kid. He's really coming into age and we just love him very much."

Sydney, who you could say served as the campaign manager for the king and queen, is also attending college next fall. She plans to become a special education teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 comments

  • Timothy C Leussenkamp

    HERE WE HAVE A VERY ADULT, WELL RAISED GROUP OF YOUNG INDIVIDUALS, THAT I CAN SAY “I’M VERY PROUD OF”. COMPASSION FOR THE NEEDS OF OTHERS IS IN SHORT SUPPLY THESE DAYS. TO SUPPORT THESE SPECIAL ED STUDENTS, OVER EVERYONE IN THERE CLASS AND GIVE THEM A WEEKEND THEY WILL NEVER FORGET, WELL THAT TOOK ALOT., AND SAYS ALOT ABOUT THE HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 2015, AND 2016 OF GRANDVILLE HIGH. WELL DONE…VERY WELL DONE

  • Anthony Zoulek

    I agree completely! This is a great story! I am proud to say I went to Grand Haven High School (class of 2004). In the 8 years I spent at GHAPS, I met a lot of great individuals!! Kindness and respect are attributable features which delineate the individuals raised in Grand Haven!

  • sarah vandetwall

    Very moved to see that special needs seniors where honored as king and queen. I have special needs daughter and in hertime they treated her badely. So it is quite a Honor to have them as King and Queen of Homecomming! Conhratulation!