Oakland Mills boys vie for `King of the Mill' crown

April 01, 2003|By Fay Lande

Each year, it is the best night of somebody's life.

"King of the Mill" the tongue-in-cheek pageant and contest for junior and senior boys at Oakland Mills High School, was held Saturday night. As usual, it was a blast.

"This happens every year, when the boys come to me and say, `This really was the best night of my life,' " said parent Heather Tepe, show director. "The girls scream for every single boy; they are not selective, so you don't have to worry about not being popular. Boys have told me they feel like they're floating across the stage, they're so buoyed up by the support the audience is showing them."

Thirteen boys competed, and about 600 people attended the event. Sponsored by the school's Scorpions Booster Club, the show required four days of rehearsals to come together.

"Every year, I think I'm insane to attempt this - a production with only four days of rehearsal - and it comes off as if we have been working on it for weeks, because the boys really focus and put everything into it," Tepe said. "I tell them it's like every thing else in life: You will get out of this what you put into it. And they throw themselves into this."

This year's opening number, choreographed by dance and drama teacher Stacie Lanier, was danced to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This." Then came the GQ segment: a chance for the boys to make a fashion statement and say who they are.

Dominique Owens, a football player, dressed as a nerd with short pants, a few teeth blacked out and glasses held together by tape. Glenn Clardy chose a Michael Jackson outfit.

In the talent segment, most of the contestants danced or lip-synched.

"For this show, I get primarily athletes," Tepe said. "They're the ones who have the confidence to do this."

Each contestant is charged with finding a creative and romantic way to present a rose to his escort, a young woman chosen from the Student Planning Committee, which sells ads for the program, solicits door prizes, handles publicity and helps at rehearsals.

"The girls that had their door prizes and advertisements in first were the ones who got to escort the boys," said parent Jacqui Meeker-Riemer, who acted as escort coordinator and assistant director. "They wore beautiful dresses that had to be OK'd, just to make sure that they looked appropriate on stage and weren't too short."

In the last segment, each contestant placed his legacy to the school in a large trunk. Senior Corey Felder left his "little black book," a telephone book covered in black and marked, "Honeys, Vol. 8."

The segments were subject to strict rules.

"We're really tightly controlled," Tepe said. "I have a no-skin rule. Everything in our show has to pass the `mom test.' My guys and the girls so appreciated having the boundaries, they made a thank-you card and gave it to me after the performance. One boy wrote, `Mrs. Tepe, thank you for keeping us in line and making us look so good.' "

Last year's winner Hughes Paul, now a student at Howard Community College, returned to crown this year's King of the Mill - senior Lee Fox, who was also voted Mr. Congeniality by the other contestants at Thursday night's dress rehearsal.

Best Performer was junior Alex Douyon. Best Sense of Humor went to senior Chris Loeffler. Best Dancer was senior Dennis Lange. And the title of Prince Charming went to junior Zandy Tepe, for his presentation of the rose.

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