All roads led home for Pearl River Homecoming 2021 celebration

Published 1:10 pm Saturday, October 9, 2021

By Laura O’Neill

Picayune Item

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River Community College Wildcats came from near and far to celebrate Homecoming 2021. Evening festivities began with the Homecoming Parade and ended with fireworks after an amazing football game.

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Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson served as Grand Marshal of the Homecoming parade and honorary captain for the coin toss. He was accompanied by his three daughters, Gracie Pierce, Annie and Cora Beth. Cheerleaders, The Spirit of the River marching band, String of Pearls and Color Guard processed before being followed by the Homecoming Court on PRCC golf carts. 

Prior to the presentation of the Homecoming Court, tailgating areas were available for alumni and current students. Thanks to a generous donation by Highland Hospital, Kona Ice was on hand for a sweet delight pregame.

The Student Government Association ran the student tailgating area on the east side with games, face painting items, a sign making station, along with beverages and snacks.

The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office was set up just inside the gate to help attendees check on their voter registration status.

The Wildcat Way Show also debuted a very special edition of College GameDay on the videoboard with President Dr. Adam Breerwood serving as the guest picker.


Prior to kick-off, the Homecoming Court was presented.

The 2021 Homecoming Queen is Picayune resident, Aliciana Carter. 

Carter is the daughter of Leslie Ellis Smith, Jonathan Smith, and Alvin Carter. Carter was a graduate of Picayune Memorial high School, where she was part of the Show Choir, the Pride of the Tide, as well as Lady Tide Softball and Volleyball teams. She is currently in the Medical Laboratory Technology program and a member of the String of Pearls dance team. After PRCC, Carter plans to obtain a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences.

This year’s Freshman Maids are Alexis Johnston from Richton, Jazzalyn Arianna Gelinas from Bay St. Louis, McKenzie Hanson from Hurley and Kellie Hunt from Picayune. 

Johnston is the daughter of Kristen and Charles Cochran. She graduated from First Assembly Christian Academy during which time she played volleyball and softball in an out of school league. She is planning to complete her associate degree in nursing with the desire to work at a hospital with NICU babies.

Sophomore Maids for 2021 are Leah Brienne Penton from Carriere, Destiney Cangelosi from Slidell, Louisiana, Lexi Barnett from Poplarville and Priscilla Bolian from Diamondhead. 

Penton is the daughter of Amy Dossett, Kyle Dossett, Terry James Penton and Brittney Penton. She graduated from Pearl River Central High School where she was on the varsity softball and cheer teams, the dance team, Beta Club, and the National Honor Society. She is in the Dental Assisting program with plans to apply for Dental Hygiene instead. She is a member of the String of Pearls dance team and Phi Theta Kappa honor society. After graduation, she wants to be employed as a Registered Dental Hygienist.

Cangelosi is the daughter of Chantelle Congelosi and Kris Stravinsky. She is a graduate of Slidell High School where she was on the volleyball team. She is in the nursing program and plans to attend LSU to enter the field of anesthesiology.

Barnett is the daughter of Stefanie and Duane Smith. A graduate of Pearl River Central High School, she was a member of the Beta Club and National Honor Society. At PRCC, she is studying psychology while also being a member of the Baptist Student Union, Honors Institute, an officer of Phi Theta Kappa and a Student Government Association sophomore representative. 

Bolian is the daughter of Alissa and Carl Bolian. She was homeschooled during which time she was a competitive dancer for a decade, a model, and an assistant dance teacher. Bolian is in the Dental Hygiene program as well as a member of the Baptist Student Union, Phi Theta Kappa, and String of Pearls dance team. She plans to be a registered dental hygienist after graduation.    


The Homecoming football game did not disappoint Wildcat fans. Having the team enter with pyrotechnics for Homecoming set a festive tone. But some fans were still finding their seats at kickoff, with no idea how the next few minutes would play out.

Within what seemed like seconds, Tony Brown (Hurley; East Central) set the theme for the game with a 56-yard run to get the first touchdown of the evening. While Holmes quickly countered, the Wildcats took hold of the game with several more long runs resulting in touchdowns, eventually winning 55-7.

The halftime show featured The Spirit of the River Marching Band, String of Pearls, and Color Guard.

Wildcat fans then enjoyed a fabulous fireworks show sponsored by Highland Hospital.

Find more details about the game here:

Highlights from the game can be found here:

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