Your stereotypical Homecoming King tends to be the captain of the football team or the star of a school play. Dan Walker might not fit that mold exactly, but he does have the one quality absolutely required of anyone to fill the role: Being a great guy who everyone is rooting for.
SM East students this year elected Walker, a special needs student who is one of the managers of the Lancer varsity football team, as 2014 Homecoming King. Walker was announced as this year’s king at Saturday’s Homecoming dance.
“Well, I felt surprised and I felt happy,” Walker said of the experience. “I just went up and put on my hat, and then gave my friends some hugs.”
Asked what he thinks the honor means, Walker cut straight to the point: “I think it means they love me.”
Walker’s mother Sharon was on hand to watch her son be announced as king, and said the crowning was emblematic of Walker’s experience in the school community.
“I think this vote is a reflection of the students at SM East and their appreciation of diversity,” she said. “To a person, both students and coaches/teachers have gone the extra mile to include Dan in the activities and the social life of the school.”
In addition to his role with the football team, Walker participates on coach Wiley Wright’s boys swimming team. He also throws shot put for the track and field team in the spring. Walker is the third of four siblings to go through the school. Brother Jack graduated from SM East in 2010 and sister Elli in 2012. His youngest sister Abby is a freshman at SM East this year.
“I heard Dan tell his sister Elli that ‘Last night was the best night of my life,’” Sharon said Sunday.
Walker’s court was as follows:
Third attendant: Austin Dalgleish (who I didn’t manage to get a photo of Friday…but who was great as Shrek in last year’s musical):
Second attendant: Kyle Ball
First attendant: Gunnar Englund