Hail to the King and Queen

Anderson Castle, left, and Brooke Byrd are named Homecoming King and Homecoming Queen during halftime of Watauga’s victory over Hickory on Oct. 11.

Watauga quarterback Anderson Castle and volleyball player Brooke Byrd have been a part of many victories on courts and playing fields for the Pioneers.

The two became royalty Oct. 11 when they were named Homecoming King and Homecoming Queen during halftime of Watauga’s football game against visiting Hickory at Jack Groce Stadium.

Castle, still wearing his football uniform, posed for some quick photos with Byrd before going back to warming up for the second half. The Pioneers were tied 21-21 with Hickory, and Castle was not pleased with how the first half went, including his performance.

“At the time, I wasn’t that happy, because it was 21-21 and I hadn’t played very well on defense,” Castle said. “It’s good to have now.”

Byrd understood how Castle felt. She is a three-sport standout at Watauga in volleyball, girls’ basketball and track and field. She was one day removed from collecting 23 kills and 18 digs in a 21-25, 18-25, 25-16, 25-18 and 15-3 victory over previously unbeaten Fred T. Foard Oct. 10. Byrd is a key weapon for the currently unbeaten Pioneers, who are 22-0 and are in first place in the Northwestern Conference.

“On Friday, he’s always in football mode,” Byrd said of Castle.

But the court Byrd had on her mind on Oct. 11 was the Homecoming Court she was a part of at Jack Groce Stadium.

“I wasn’t thinking much,” Byrd said. “I just thought whatever was going to happen was going to happen. I was excited to be on the court.”

Even though Castle was in a hurry to get back out onto the field, he was happy to be named Homecoming King and that Byrd was the queen.

“That was nice,” Castle said. “I’m glad that happened.”

Castle, who also plays boys’ basketball and baseball at Watauga, said the homecoming festivities weren’t a distraction for him before or after halftime.

“Coach (Ryan) Habich always talks about on Homecoming night that there are always going to be distractions not just on Friday night but throughout the week,” Castle said. “It really didn’t distract me that much. I was pretty focused in on what we needed to do in the second half.”

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