Carson City homecoming court center of attention |

Carson City homecoming court center of attention

Teri Vance
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Dragging behind him a string of cans attached by a feather boa and wearing a bright orange wig, Gus Debacco, 17, stood out Thursday at Carson High School.

He looked to fellow Homecoming King candidate Hunter Tyzbir, 18, for understanding.

“People look at you and say, ‘I don’t even want to know,'” Debacco said. “But they want to know.”

“Yeah, they want to know,” Tyzbir agreed.

The 12 candidates for Homecoming King and Queen were ambushed around 5 Thursday morning by friends who’d designed flamboyant costumes for them ” a long-standing tradition at the high school.

“They’ve been doing it since before I became a teacher here,” said Jennifer Tartan, who is in her fifth year of teaching math and second year as student activities director.

“The seniors really look forward to it. It attracts attention to them for the day and lets people know there’s something special about them. They complain about it, but they love it.”

But there were no complaints from queen candidate Karissa Pulizzotto, 18.

“The attention is fun,” she said. “I’m a drama kid.”

Students were chosen by popular vote amongst the senior class. The finalists were then announced over the school’s intercom.

“It wasn’t a surprise,” Tyzbir admitted. “I knew I was going to be nominated. A lot of people like me.”

For queen candidate Blaike King, it was more unexpected.

She missed the announcement and didn’t find out about her nomination until she got a text message from her friend saying, “I hope you win.”

“I was like, ‘Win what?’ But I’m really excited.”

Her grandmother is flying in from Arizona for the ceremony during halftime of tonight’s game at 7:30 p.m., when the winner will be announced.

Because of the renovated track, candidates will not be driven around the field in convertibles as has been the tradition.

Instead, the court was presented during a parade down Saliman Road on Thursday evening.

Also to preserve the track, candidates are being asked to forego high heels in favor of a flat shoe.

“I would just puncture the field anyway and get stuck, so I’m OK with it,” said Stacey Rikalo, 18.

The ceremony at halftime will conclude with a fireworks show. The dance will follow.

That leaves only one problem for king candidates Jake Madden, 18, and Steven Fowzer, 17. Each of their dates were grounded from attending.

Or maybe it’s not a problem at all.

“It’s better for us,” Fowzer said. “We can dance with more girls.”

– Contact reporter Teri Vance at or 881-1272.