“Standing O” for Benji the Homecoming King

A near-packed Sparta High School gym watched as their beloved Trojans dismantled Pleasant Hope for a Homecoming night triumph.

But minutes before the ball was tipped, it was the young man known as the “heart of the school” who garnered a standing ovation.  Plenty of tears were shed as senior Benji Hurd was announced as the 2017 Homecoming King.


“He definitely has taught a lot of people the meaning of unconditional love,” said Erin Hurd, Benji’s mother.

Benji has Down Syndrome.  He’s not a man of many words, but when asked about the honor, he didn’t hesitate to say it was a special night, the coolest of his life.

Hugs for his father, mother, brothers and basically anyone in sight were on the agenda, but Benji’s main objective was to get to that Homecoming dance.

“He’s probably thinking about the girls at the dance,” his mother said.

Benji, who plans to graduate with his class this Spring, stood arm-in-arm with his Queen, Jessieanne Scherer, grasping the wand he was presented as part of the “Hogwarts” theme.  It was a standing ovation for Benji; one he’ll certainly never forget.

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