Collingswood High School has announced candidates for homecoming queen, and an unusual annual tradition held in place of homecoming king: the Ugly Man contest.
The following males were nominated for 2011 Ugly Man by fellow students: Chris Micheal, Chris Ryan, Nick Anthony and Jake Tackett. An official Ugly Man 2011 will be chosen at this Friday's homecoming pep rally. Ugly Man is the school's fun way to pick a homecoming king.
The following girls were also nominated for the 2011 homecoming queen title: Monique Kirlin, Krystal Valianti, Rayshonda Mears and Chelsea Plotts.
Collingswood High School Principal Edward T. Hill explained the traditions to Patch.
"This Friday (Oct. 28), we'll choose an Ugly Man (homecoming king) and homecoming queen during the pep rally before our homecoming football game," said Hill. "Students voted for this year's nominees during homeroom."
At 2:45 p.m. last Friday, at the homecoming dance, Hill said nominees were officially announced.
"All this week is spirit week, and students decorate the halls, with a theme for each hall. It ends on Friday (Oct. 28)," he said. "Then, at 2:45 p.m. Friday, the pep rally begins in the gym. Our cheerleaders will call up the five Ugly Man nominees."
Instead of making homecoming king and queen a popularity contest—which is the case in many high schools—Collingswood High School implements a very different method for choosing a king and queen.
"(When choosing the 2011 Ugly Man), nominees will be announced at the pep rally. They will be escorted by cheerleaders to five folding chairs, set up in the gymnasium. Under each of the chairs is a bag containing a can of vegetables," said Hill. "There are four cans of mixed vegetables and one can of corn. When nominees open the bags, the boy with the corn wins Ugly Man."
This unbiased method of choosing a winner affords all candidates a fair shot at the Ugly Man title. But why vegetables? Hill said he's not sure.
"This was the tradition long before I got here (as high school principal)," he laughed, shrugging his shoulders.
A queen is chosen during halftime of the homecoming football game this Friday—during which Collingswood Panthers will take on West Deptford High School.
"At halftime, we announce the queen. The nominees are called up, and each receives a wrapped bouquet of flowers," said Hill. "Four bouquets contain carnations, and one contains roses. The girl with the roses is homecoming queen."
This Friday, a 2011 Ugly Man will be chosen at 2:45 p.m. in the Collingswood High School gymnasium, during the homecoming pep rally. Later that night, at the homecoming football game, a queen will be chosen around 7:45 p.m., which is when halftime is scheduled to begin.
"Our Ugly Man will get a hat and a banner that says, 'Ugly Man 2011,'" said Hill. "Our queen gets a crown and her bouquet of roses."