(COVINGTON, La.) — In the fall of 1994, Lindsay Coutrado was crowned homecoming queen. This year her daughter, senior Brooke VanAs, will be crowned queen just like her mother.
Expectations have been high for Brooke for a long time. “Ever since I was little people always asked me, ‘hey, don’t you want to be queen like your mom someday?’ I was a nervous wreck all day when they announced it,” Brooke said. “My mom was the first person I called and she started crying,” she said.
That day was equally nerve wracking for Brooke’s mother. Before the announcement for court, Lindsay VanAs sat in the parking lot of her father’s old shop. Her father, Jake Coutrado, who recently passed away, was incredibly passionate about St. Paul’s and is a legendary figure in the school community. Jake Coutrado spent every Friday night for 28 years on top of the home stands video taping football games for the team.
Lindsay VanAs sat in the parking lot. “I said a little prayer for Brooke to be on court because I know my dad would have loved it, because he loved St. Paul’s,” she said.
In the 1990s, the school would host an evening pep rally where the homecoming court was presented and a bonfire was lit. “It was a very special experience to take part in. The bonfire was exciting. I was a cheerleader, and we would ride onto the track on a fire truck. Then the band would lead us out to the practice field and we would dance around the bonfire,” said Joanna Case, SSA class of 1990 and St. Paul’s faculty member. Homecoming week festivities continued that Friday with a parade.
Today, homecoming week is celebrated differently. St. Paul’s students dress up in daily themes like “Twin Day” or “Jersey Thursday” leading up to the annual homecoming pep rally with SSA’s student body where the homecoming court: Brooke VanAs, Anna Hummel, Mary Francis Scoggin, Mary Ella White, Claire Perret, Eva Ehlinger, and Madison Meyers will be presented. Later that night they will be presented to the entire St. Paul’s community during the homecoming game against Slidell High at Hunter Stadium.