Coronation of Shahalie Erickson leads into active Sportsman’s Holiday weekend

Sean C. Morgan

Shahalie Erickson was named 2018 Sportsman’s Holiday Court queen during the annual coronation held Thursday evening, July 12, at the Elks Lodge.

She declared Sportsman’s Holiday open and then presided with her court over festivities for the next two days, including an appearance on stage during the Chips N Splinters show Friday night, July 13, at the High School auditorium, the grand parade Saturday morning and then at the Logger Olympics Saturday afternoon.

Pop Warner Football received the Grand Sweepstakes award in the parade. The Sweet Home Cheerleaders were the Court’s Choice.

At the Logger Olympics, the defending champion, CTS, Inc., won the Logger Relay among seven teams. Burke Logging was second, and Rice Logging finished third.

At Friday’s coronation, Princess Sarah Hewitt was named first princess, and the court and chaperons named Sidney Hooley Miss Congeniality.

Erickson also sold the most raffle tickets, 900, among the princesses, who sold a combined 3,130. Raffle prizes are donated by members of the community. Proceeds help pay for court activities and scholarship prizes for the princesses. Each receives $250, and the queen receives $500.

The queen is selected based on sponsorships, ticket sales, attendance at events, poise, a speech, personality, an interview and an impromptu question. Judges Karla Hogan, Sandi Thompson, Chelsea Corliss and Tess Yahyazadeh conducted interviews and observed the speeches and impromptu question to select the queen.

The 2018 Sportsman’s Holiday Court also includes Katrina Rey-nolds, Madelyn Neuschwander and Kate Hawken.

“I’m very excited,” Erickson said following her coronation. “‘I’m excited for the parade.”

She was looking forward to riding in the parade in a Corvette, arranged through Shawn Anderson. Princess Sarah also rode in a Corvette and the rest of the court traversed the parade route in Jeeps, courtesy of Princess Madelyn’s dad, Floyd Neuschwander.

Erickson also enjoyed getting out to events, she said.

“I like the little kids – I think it’s cute when they come up and ask for pictures or ask questions.”

She enjoyed the addition of a junior court this year – for the first time since 2007.

“I think it’s super cute, and I think it’s a good way to introduce them (to the court),” she said.

Erickson said she appreciated the remaining members of the court.

“We had a good time preparing our speeches together,” she said. They were encouraging and helped give each other self-confidence.

Erickson, the daughter of Rick and Deanna Erickson, will be a senior at Sweet Home High School where she is a member of the cheer team and plays basketball. She plans to attend Linn-Benton Community College and Western Ore-gon University after graduation. She would like to become a registered nurse and work at a veterans home. She works at Casa de Reyes.

In keeping with the theme for Sportsman’s Holiday this year, “Christmas All Year Long,” The princesses were asked to deliver a speech about what Christmas traditions they enjoy most with their families and will carry forward to their children.

Every December, Erickson said, she and her family go up into the woods to find the perfect tree. Her mother prefers a Douglas fir, while her father tends to like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, the Noble fir.

Then they go shopping, followed by a visit to Storybook Land in Albany where they take a bag of food for admission.

On the way home, they “stop at the park in Lebanon and dance under the Christmas lights,” Erickson said. On Christmas day, they pack up their gifts and take them to her grandmother’s house where they spend the day cooking and preparing Christmas dinner.

They play board games, then watch a movie, Erickson said. By the time the movie is over, dinner is ready. After dinner they exchange gifts.

During the impromptu questions, Erickson was asked what she would prepare for Christmas dinner.

“Turkey,” she said. “Because it’s the main dish.”

Asked whether she is Santa or the Grinch, Hawken answered, “It depends on the day.”

Reynolds named five Christmas songs, while Neuschwander took a wild shot at it when asked what the seventh day was in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” and said, “seven snakes.”

Hewitt said she prefers to stay with her family during Christmas than to go somewhere else.

If she could travel anywhere for Christmas, Hooley said, she would like to rent a house and spend it at the beach.