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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The finale: senior Cameron Hickert wins Mr. Longhorn 2023

Triumphantly celebrating, senior Cameron Hickert is hefted into the air by fellow Mr. Longhorn contestants. Out of 15 contestants, Hickert took the first-place prize. “At the end of the day, I’m just glad I’m having fun with my friends,” Hickert said.
Claire Francis
Triumphantly celebrating, senior Cameron Hickert is hefted into the air by fellow Mr. Longhorn contestants. Out of 15 contestants, Hickert took the first-place prize. “At the end of the day, I’m just glad I’m having fun with my friends,” Hickert said.

On Friday, Nov. 17, Mr. Longhorn tested 15 senior contestants across the categories of occupation, talent and formal wear, and senior Cameron Hickert came out on top. 

In an effort to curry favor with the panel of judges, Hickert strutted out on the theatre floor in his chef wear, showcased his dancing in the talent portion, and then wooed the crowd in his formal wear.

“I did a dance from the movie ‘Mean Girls’ with my friends. It was a funny Christmas dance and we dressed up in Christmas costumes, then I played the piano. Our act got a lot of laughs and people were pretty loud,” Hickert said. “[During] the model walk, I was by myself and I was getting everybody hyped.”

After the formal wear category, the top five contestants were selected from the crowd. Along with Hickert, seniors Tyler Breidecker, Chase Haun, Caden Keller and Danny Carmichael made the list. Each finalist was given a chance to answer one unique question.

Spatula between his teeth, senior Cameron Hickert sprinkles seasoning for his occupation act. (Claire Francis)

“They asked me, what separates [you] from the rest or why I should win. I told them, ‘I can dance, I can play piano, and I look good doing both,’” Hickert said.

Following the question portion of the show, the votes were tallied, and Hickert was awarded with the title Mr. Longhorn 2023 and bestowed with bragging rights. 

“I had no idea. I did not expect to even make it to the top five. So I was pretty shocked and kind of speechless for a second but I’m glad I was able to share the moment with everybody,” Hickert said.

P.E. teacher Jeff Duncan was one of the five judges of Mr. Longhorn. The panel was impressed by Hickert’s strong performance throughout the night.

“All of the kids did a great job. It takes a lot of guts and confidence to go out there and be in front of everybody else. But I think at the end of the day, he did a great job in each of the different categories. It was probably pretty close between all of them, but he represented the group pretty well,” Duncan said.

Though class president and senior Andrew Son did not win, he enjoyed the experience and applauded Hickert.

“[Hickert] deserved to win, He’s a very nice person and I really liked working with him on the dance. It was very collaborative. We all had a great time and we all had fun. It allowed us to come together as a group and motivate each other,” Son said.

In addition, the pageant ended up receiving numerous donations for Annie’s Hope, LoCo’s 23-24 charity.

“It’s important to support philanthropy because we have all suffered losses for the past couple of years and it’s important to help others and give back to our community,” Son said.

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About the Contributors
Serena Liu, Editor-in-Chief
Pronouns: she/her Grade: 12 Years on staff: 3 What is your favorite piece of literature? Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Who is your hero? My mom! She’s the most incredible person I know and also she reads my stories so she might see this. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Mac & cheese all the way.
Elizabeth Franklin, Editor-in-Chief
Pronouns: she/her Grade: 12 Years on staff: 4 What is your favorite piece of literature?"Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" is such a classic piece of literature that can still resonate with many people in the U.S. today. Cassie, the book’s protagonist was and is still refreshing to me: she’s a child, so the way that racism and discrimination impact her made it easy for me, also a child at the time, to understand some of the bigotry and prejudice that many of my ancestors faced, especially living in the South. Cassie’s a little spitfire, sure, but she’s also just a child, and at the end of the day, she embodies what America’s intrinsic racism can do to childish innocence like hers. Who is your hero? My hero is Ida B. Wells. She was an excellent journalist and was always dedicated to finding the truth, no matter the obstacles — and as a Black woman reporting in the South, she had a lot of obstacles. Although my journalistic career isn’t as nearly as dangerous as hers was, her work has paved the way for numerous other Black writers and journalists in the field, and it reminds me to always keep digging, even when the subjects are obscure or controversial in today’s overall political climate. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? I'm not going to lie, I could probably shovel down buckets of those Welch's fruit snacks.
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