POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Friday evening was Point Pleasant Beach High School’s homecoming parade, which led to a night of football against Toms River High School East and the announcement of homecoming queen and escort.
While Point Beach’s Garnet Gulls lost the game to Toms River East’s Raiders, the mood at the school’s homecoming game was still festive. It was especially so during halftime, when Matilda Ventresca was named homecoming queen and Tom Schulter her escort—equivalent in rank to king.
Matilda and Tom, both 17, were named as homecoming royalty at the game during the halftime program. In the school community, Matilda is captain of the school’s lacrosse team and president of the Key Club, while Tom is the captain of its soccer team. Matilda told The Ocean Star that no matter who ended up as homecoming queen and escort, the mood would have been celebratory all the same.
“It was strange, because my fellow candidates were two of my best friends, Mackenzie and Ellie, so we were all really just excited to be doing it together,” said Matilda. “We didn’t care who won and we were going to celebrate regardless of who won.”
Tom explained that his favorite part of the experience so far has been simply seeing Matilda’s excitement.
“I was more excited for Matilda, because it’s not every day you can wake up and say, ‘Oh, you’re the homecoming queen,'” he said. He also said that the relative small size of the borough lends itself to a close-knit school community. “The tradition here has such great value. Because our school is so small, I think it matters the most to everyone. Because our community sticks together like that.”
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