Queen for a Game
The place-kicker for the Eagles of Chaminade College Preparatory School in Canoga Park, Calif., recently was pulling to within 6 points of surpassing a state record for points scored.
But supporters of the Roman Catholic school team were perhaps more impressed when at halftime that same player swapped cleats for high heels and a football jersey for a gown.
Amy Cook, an 18-year-old senior, said she was just as surprised as the fans in the bleachers when she was chosen Homecoming Queen for the 950-student school.
She knew before the game that the field of 10 would-be queens had already been winnowed to 5. But she admits to concentrating more on the close game--and on the state record for girls playing for varsity teams--than on the halftime festivities when her crowning was announced.
"I was kind of shocked," she said.
Then, after her quick change and the presentation of her homecoming bouquet, she dashed back into the locker room to don her equipment for the second half.
The shattered record was not to be, however. A later field-goal attempt was blocked, and Chaminade lost, 18 to 10.
Amy's teammates, though, weren't disappointed by either performance.
"I guess they thought it was neat," she said. "They congratulated me."
Ms. Cook, who also plays tennis and soccer for the school, said she takes her football career seriously, but not excessively so.
"I like football and everything," she said. "But I wasn't going out there to prove a point."
Her father, Harry Cook, seems to support both aspects of his daughter's high-school career.
"Everybody thinks she's just a jock," he told a local newspaper. "But hey, she's also a pretty, feminine girl."--pw