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Piedmont Academy crowns Homecoming queen, honors late supporter
Piedmont homecoming
Homecoming court representatives, from left, were Baylee Ledbetter (9), Ella Parker (10), Breck Piedra (11), Emily McEwen (12), Homecoming Queen Abby Arnold (12), Miss Cougar Haiden Crews (12), Riley Smith (12), Dakota Floyd (12), Teagan Satterfield (11), McKayla Arnold (11), and Kylee Keck (10). Ninth-grade representative Alayna Carden was not pictured due to illness.  (Special | Piedmont Academy)

MONTICELLO, Ga. —  Friday, Oct. 14, Piedmont Academy celebrated Homecoming 2022 as the football team challenged the Briarwood Academy Buccaneers. 

Homecoming week sparked pride and spirit among the student body as excitement built in anticipation of Friday night’s game. Piedmont kicked off homecoming week 2022 by recognizing members of this year’s homecoming court. 

Representatives and Miss Cougar received sashes at a special ceremony designed to ignite excitement for the week’s activities. Spirit days included “Country vs. Country Club”, “Hawaiian” and “Extreme Piedmont Cougar Spirit.” 

Of course, homecoming week would not be complete without a mock homecoming court. Several football players traded in their helmets and cleats for wigs and skirts as they vied for the title of Mock Homecoming Queen and Cougar 2022. 

This “highly coveted and prestigious honor” was conferred to seniors Dalton Wallace winning Piedmont’s Mock Miss Cougar and Mason Owens winning Mock Homecoming Queen. They were crowned by Piedmont’s Cheer Captains, Ella Cohran and Riley Smith. 

In concert with homecoming week 2022, Piedmont Academy Student Council also managed a community service project to benefit Jasper County Animal Shelter. The response among faculty, staff, and students was amazing as donations of food, treats, toys, flea and tick medications, and cleaning supplies overflowed.

Friday night’s activities commenced with the parade of representatives. Each homecoming court representative made an entrance arriving on the field atop a classic convertible. These young ladies were met by their escorts at the 50-yard line and ushered to their seats amidst rounds of applause. 

Halftime festivities included the crowning of Piedmont Academy’s 2022 Homecoming Queen, Abby Arnold, and Piedmont Academy’s 2022 Miss Cougar, Haiden Crews. 

On hand to present the crowns were last year’s Homecoming Queen, Ella King, and a special crowning presentation by Miss Cougar 1997, Amanda Crews, who crowned her daughter, Haiden, as Miss Cougar 2022. 

Head of School Clint Welch escorted both King and Amanda Crews. Welch was assisted by 2022 Senior Mascots Kambrie Thompson and Drake Lunsford.

Also Friday, Oct. 14, the school honored the founder of the Piedmont Academy Grandparents’ Club, Gayle Marsh.  

Co-presidents Shirley Hotch and Katherine Hilliard, Welch and members of the club were on the field to present a bronze plaque to Marsh’s husband Ronnie and the Marsh family. The plaque will be placed on the Gayle Marsh Memorial Pavilion located at the entrance to Cougar Field.

“Mrs. Gayle had the vision of creating a volunteer organization to raise funds to support our school and the needs of our grandchildren,” said Alison Hildebrant, director of admissions. 

“She was a natural leader who could inspire others to contribute their time and talents to the many needed school projects. Furthermore, if they were not inspired, she had a special way of convincing them that they would be happy to serve in any capacity she had in mind.”

In Mrs. Marsh’s 20-plus years of leadership, the Grandparents’ Club raised more than a half-million dollars to further the academic needs of the students and faculty alike, Hildebrant said.  

“Mrs. Gayle’s lasting legacy will be the continued support of the Club to Piedmont Academy,” she said. 

Piedmont tribute
The school honored the founder of the Piedmont Academy Grandparents’ Club, Gayle Marsh. Head of School Clint Welch presents a bronze plaque to Marsh’s husband, Ronnie. The plaque will be placed on the Gayle Marsh Memorial Pavilion located at the entrance to Cougar Field. (Special | Piedmont Academy)