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During halftime of the Canby Cougars’ 42-6 blowout victory over the visiting Hillsboro Spartans, balloons were on the mind of the Homecoming court.
Each of the hopefuls held a box with a balloon in it — which they opened simultaneously at the count of three. Most of the balloons that soared skyward was blue, but one — and only one — was Canby gold, denoting the senior class’ pick for Homecoming King and Queen.
After opening their box, Caitrin Vockrodt and Tate Leder looked around to see who had won the coveted title. No one was more surprised than them to see the golden orb hovering above their own heads.
“I had to do a double-take and look at everyone else,” the newly crowned homecoming queen said. “I literally couldn’t grasp the fact that I had won.”
Vockrodt and Leder have been good friends throughout high school, and when Vockrodt was chosen to be on the homecoming court, she did not hesitate to pick Leder as her escort. Both sing in the Canby Cantalinas choir, while Leder is senior class president and Vockrodt is on the varsity tennis team and a member of Canby High School theater.
Both the king and queen were grateful to see most beloved Homecoming traditions return after a two-year, Covid-induced hiatus.
“I think I speak for all of us at Canby when I say we are grateful that homecoming is back,” said Leder. “We were able to bring back most, if not all, of the traditions that we used to do a couple of years ago.”
This year’s Homecoming dance will take place Friday — outside on the football field instead of its usual place in the cafeteria. While things may not be fully back to “normal”, Vockrodt sees it as a huge step forward: a moment the school — and the Canby community — will remember.
“High school isn’t forever,” said Vockrodt. “Homecoming is a special time that brings the whole town and community together to celebrate growth and town pride.”
Vockrodt plans on attending community college next year before working toward a degree in pediatric psychology. Leder plans to attend BYU-Idaho before embarking on a two-year mission for his church.
But on Friday night, neither the king nor queen will be thinking about their future plans. They just want to dance with their friends.
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