West Orange High School crowns its ‘Homecoming Royalty’

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — West Orange High School seniors Kiley Capstraw and Ayush Narain were selected as the first-ever “Homecoming Royalty” during the West Orange–Montclair football game in Suriano Stadium on Oct. 15.

After discussions with WOHS students, faculty and administration, the WOHS Class of 2022 elected their top two choices for “Homecoming Royalty,” rather than a king and queen, in an effort to move to a gender-neutral, non-binary selection to be more inclusive of the school’s diverse student body. 

The six nominees were selected by WOHS staff for having the respect of their peers, exhibiting outstanding character, participating in school life with pride and unification, and demonstrating scholarship, leadership and fellowship.

Capstraw is a stellar student who maintains an A average pursuing a rigorous course load while excelling as an elite athlete. Her leadership abilities extend beyond the classroom and athletic court/field. She is a member of the National Honor Society, managing editor of The Pioneer newspaper, a Mountaineer Mentor, Teen PEP educator, Daughters of Israel volunteer, and volunteer for the New Jersey Belles.

Athletically, she has been a three-year captain of the girls varsity basketball team. Her 2021 honors include: NJ.com SEC Conference Player of the Year, D1 Media Pro Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Men of Essex Player of the Year, Sideline Chatter SEC Player of the Year, second team all-state, multiple Conference Player of the Week, and she joined the elite 1,000th Point Club. She also earned first team All-SEC from 2018 to 2021 and Player of the Month in December 2019. She was a key contributor to the 2019 Essex County Girls Basketball Championship and the 2018 Essex County Girls Soccer Championship. Other soccer accolades for her team include a Group 4 Sectional Championship win and a 2018 final ranking of No. 4 in the state and No. 18 in the country. She received third team All-SEC in 2018 and 2019 honorable mention.

Capstraw’s outside interests include exploring new places, expanding her food palate, trips down the shore, listening to music and hanging with her friends. She is looking forward to continuing her academic and athletic career at Yale University as a member of the women’s basketball team.

Narain has participated in several clubs and activities at WOHS. He is the drum major for the WOHS Marching Mountaineers and president of Tri-M Music Honors Society and SkillsUSA. He is an officer of the Science Olympiad, as well as an active member of the National Honor Society and the Escriptus, Rho Kappa and Mu Alpha Theta honor societies.

Outside of school, he spends his free time in various orchestras, including the New Jersey Youth Symphony and New Jersey Regions and All-State Orchestras, as well as community organizations, such as Our Green West Orange.

This year’s honorary king and queen were Gabriel Evans and Angelica Hercules.

Evans participates in the school district’s 18-21 program and works at Liberty Middle School for Maschio’s, the school district’s food service provider. He reads the morning announcements and the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. He is social and loves to dance, participating in the dance program.

Hercules is a WOHS senior who works in the school cafeteria as part of an internship program. She is a kind, caring, hardworking young lady who always tries her best. She loves shopping and socializing with friends and family. Hercules will explore her career options through the 18-21 program next year. 

Photos Courtesy of WOSD