Mitchell crowned homecoming queen, National Merit Semifinalist


Lauren Bial

Lily Mitchell stands with escort Cole Moore having just been announced Homecoming Queen. Mitchell was crowned Thursday, Oct. 5, at the homecoming game against Desoto Central.

Lauren Bial, Staff Writer

Senior Lily Mitchell has been very busy lately. Not only is she a varsity player on the volleyball team, but she was also crowned Homecoming Queen Thursday night, Oct. 5. A week before that, she was named a National Merit Semifinalist.

Lily Mitchell first joined volleyball in seventh grade. She had been playing soccer 12 years prior to joining the volleyball team.

“Seventh grade was the first year you could try out for the volleyball team, so me and some of my friends decided we wanted to try out and try something new,” Lily Mitchell said.

After an ACL injury in eighth grade, Lily Mitchell could no longer pursue soccer. After this, she decided to stay with volleyball.

“Multiple factors just made me decide to continue with volleyball because it was less strenuous on my knee,” Lily Mitchell said.

Along with her injury in eighth grade, Lily Mitchell began taking the PSAT and continued to take it all the way through high school. She also took PSAT prep which helped her focus on her goal of National Merit.

“I guess in my mind I always hoped I would get National Merit because I knew that was kind of the end goal when you’re taking the PSAT,” Lily Mitchell said.

Although Lily Mitchell took the class to help her focus in on her goal of National Merit, Walter Freeman, her PSAT teacher, denies credit for her success. Freeman believes the students in that class were incredibly talented and motivated.

“I could would say that Lily would have have done just fine on a PSAT without me,” Freeman said. “They were all bright, they were all the top students, and all we did in class was try to give them the opportunity to practice and set aside 45 minutes a day that [they] could just practice.”

During her junior year, Lily Mitchell was nominated for homecoming court and made it on the ballot. However, she didn’t make it on the court.

“Last year, it was a complete surprise,” Lily Mitchell said. “My friend told me, and I thought it was a joke.”

Lily Mitchell kept the idea on her mind for senior year. She believed it would be fun to be on the court, but she didn’t think much further than that. When she was put on the court, she then realized the duties that came with running for queen, such as campaigning.

Lily Mitchell’s younger sister, Julia Mitchell, said that Lily Mitchell had no expectation of winning the crown.

“She was really surprised when she won because all the girls on the court were so even that nobody knew which way it was going to go,”  Julia Mitchell said.

Julia Mitchell believes Lily Mitchell’s own ambition drove her to being re-elected for homecoming court.

“Lily is one of those people that’s really ambitious about most things she does, you’d call her a go-getter,” Julia Mitchell said. “But at the same time, I don’t think she was really looking to win [homecoming queen], but getting on court was 100 percent enough for her.”

As for winning the title, Lily Mitchell was honored. She believes it means she has gained the respect of her peers and assures that the community appreciates her.

“As superficial as it kind of seems, I think the title ‘homecoming queen’ for years and years has such a stigma around it,” Lily Mitchell said. “But beneath the superficial aspect of it, I really think it’s an honor.”

Lily Mitchell, along with many other seniors, has begun applying for colleges. Her plan is not set. However she aims to go out of state.

“As of right now, I’d like to go to business school and, hopefully, incorporate Spanish into that,” Lily Mitchell said. “Maybe study abroad, those kind of things. It’s all kind of up in the air.”

Along with school and sports, Lily Mitchell has become involved with the club YoungLife after being introduced to it by friends. Even with this busy schedule she has been able to balance it all with the help of senior dismissal.

“Since I’ve always done sports, I’ve always kind of balanced school and sports,” Lily Mitchell said. “I’ve just gotten into a rhythm with that.”

Julia Mitchell believes her sister will be successful one day due to Lily Mitchell’s high self-motivation. She says her sister has always focused in on school when she needs to and has held her self to her own standard.

“Her own ambition has taken her here and will continue to take her big places after high school,” Julia Mitchell said.