Homecoming honors at the 2017 AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Michigan+rep.+Maddy+Ippel+%28right%29+and+Indiana+rep.+Hannah+Behm+%28left%29+on+the+field+at+the+2017+AutoZone+Liberty+Bowl+in+Memphis%2C+Tennessee.
Michigan rep. Maddy Ippel (right) and Indiana rep. Hannah Behm (left) on the field at the 2017 AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee.

Michigan rep. Maddy Ippel (right) and Indiana rep. Hannah Behm (left) on the field at the 2017 AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee.

Melanie Ippel

Melanie Ippel

Michigan rep. Maddy Ippel (right) and Indiana rep. Hannah Behm (left) on the field at the 2017 AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee.

Derryk VanderJagt, Staff Writer

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It’s not an everyday occurrence that someone gets to experience prolonged effects of being crowned her high school’s homecoming queen, or more specifically outside of her school’s community. But this year, our recipient Madalyn Ippel was awarded with taking her honor across state lines and into a national event.

Maddy, who was crowned homecoming queen in late September, was invited after going through an application process to Memphis, Tennessee to take part in festivities at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, an NCAA football match-up. Kings and queens from all around the country were to be recognized during the halftime show of this game.

Since the application regarded topics such as community service, involvement at their high school, and academic performance, it is no surprise that Maddy with her hardworking, humble, and kind personality would be a perfect fit. She participated with high school kings and queens nationwide in a tour of the downtown St. Jude Children’s Hospital, a parade through the streets of Memphis, and was recognized in a ceremony out on the football field during the halftime show.

“It was a once in a lifetime experience, and an amazing honor that definitely wasn’t expected,” Maddy said when I asked what she thought of her experience. She may have not been expecting it, but Maddy’s contributions to the community and people around her are noticed and beyond appreciated, and no better way to be rewarded than on a national scale.

All fifty U.S. states sent one representative for their state homecoming king, as well as one for the state homecoming queen. The representatives were than organized in the tunnels so the kings were on one side of the field and the queens on the other. As they walked across the field 57,000+ people in attendance that day applauded and waved to the students for their incredible achievement.

After the halftime show concluded, the game between the Iowa State Cyclones and the Memphis Tigers exemplified an intense ending. A final score of 21-20. Iowa came out victorious, but both teams showed strong assets holding the score steady for a majority of the 4th quarter. They also battled back and forth with no scoring opportunities for over ten minutes.

But even if your not a huge football fan, the 2017 Liberty Bowl did not disappoint. Everyone can appreciate taking some time to recognize outstanding high school students for the good that they do in their communities, and the impact that they can have on our country.

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