Andover High School crowned a new homecoming king and queen in inspirational fashion Friday before a raucous crowd of students and alumni.
Candace Calloway and Calvin Williams drew huge applause as there names were announced during a halftime show that featured decorated banners representing each of the last five decades.
"It’s such a good feeling and really says a lot that two African Americans can be voted king and queen. It's very, very special," said Calloway shortly after she was mobbed by her cheerleading teammates.
For Williams, who moved from out-of-state last year, Friday's selection was validation of carrying a positive attitude and embracing change.
"You just have to try to talk to everyone, be friendly and keep your options open," said the transfer from Memphis, Tenn. of his ability to acclimate to Bloomfield Hills Schools.
Also during halftime, the school paid tribute to the 1971 football and soccer teams that played on Barons Field. The football team was undefeated and won 19 consecutive games over a three-year period, said '71 class president Pete Bowers, now station manager of WBHF, The Biff. It marked the only time Andover was ranked in the top ten in the state
The soccer team finished 11-0-3, closing a 29-game undefeated streak over three years. There were no tournaments in either football or soccer to determine the best teams in the state at the time.
Unfortunately for Barons fans, the lively crowd and any momentum from the ceremony didn't translate onto the field. Andover started the game with a 13-0 lead in first quarter but fell apart early in the second half and surrendered 46 unanswered points.
Three fourth quarter touchdowns by the Barons closed the gap, but the game was never in doubt as the North Farmington Raiders won their sixth contest in a row, 46-35.
If anyone had concerns about this being Andover's final homecoming football game due to the prospect of fielding just 17 players next year, no one was showing it.
"We'll get a team up," Principal Rob Durecka said confidently between plays Friday. "We've got some kids that have already expressed interest in playing if it meant not having football. We want to keep it going."
Andover has one shot left for its first win of the year at Lahser next Friday.