Homecoming Court 2022


Homecoming Queen Krystin Maddox and Homecoming King Kenneth Ellzey. | Photo: Shannon Barbin

he University of Southern Mississippi announced the 2022 homecoming Court on Sept. 20 and Sept. 22. Dating back to the fall of 1925, homecoming has been a beloved tradition for the Hattiesburg location. USM has several traditions tied into homecoming, beginning Monday Oct. 9.  

Freshman Beau was presented to Oliver Young III. Young is native of Biloxi. He is majoring in Kinesiology and plans to become a health coach. On campus, he is involved in the Afro-American Student Organization and the Student Alumni Association.  

“Becoming the Beau of my freshman class to me presents an opportunity for my peers and I to connect with one another through various community events, service and day to day life on campus,” Young said. “I hope to engage with my student body and build positive relationships along my journey through college. For me, this is a great first step to greater opportunities that will arise in the future.” 

Sophomore Beau was presented to Dylan Littles. 

Junior Beau was presented to Mar’Ques McCray. McCray is a native of Heidelberg. He is majoring in Kinesiology and plans to become a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant. On campus, he in involved in the track team, Men of Excellence, Student Government Association and the National Communications Coordinator for the Residence Hall Association. “Being Junior Beau is more than just a title. It’s an honor. This is because throughout my life, I faced trials and obstacles that were challenging, but I did not let challenges detour me from reaching my goals,” McCray said. “This election has shown me that no matter what happens or what may seem to happen, always remain true to yourself. It assured me that in God all things are possible, even the impossible. So being Junior Beau to me means being a representation for my classmates and others to show them that if you want to be something, go after it, but also embrace the moment.” 

Senior Beau was presented to Keedrick Palmer. Palmer is a native of Jackson. He is majoring in therapeutic recreation with a minor in psychology and plans on getting his certification to work as a RT before going to grad school to study occupational therapy and becoming an OT. On campus, he is a member of he Southern Miss Activities Council, TRIO Scholar, Eagle F1rst, Vice president of the Recreational Therapy Club and the current Man of Distinction pageant scholarship recipient for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.  

“Senior Beau to me means always exemplifying what it means to be a Golden Eagle and making positive contributions to not only my classmates but the University, leaving it better than I found it,” Palmer said. “As my Golden Eagle journey has not always been a smooth flight, it has had rough winds and storms. However, I want to showcase that it is not about your past situation, current conditions but your final destination. You can soar high here at Southern Miss and reach your fullest potential with plenty of help along the way. Just keep pushing and you’ll see it through.” 

Graduate Beau was presented to Sean Smith. 

Student Body Beau was presented to Emmanuel Carney. 

Freshman Maid was presented to Mary Morgan Wert. 

Sophomore Maid was presented to Taylor Adair. Adair is a native of Aberdeen. She is a nursing major and plans to pursue a nursing career in Texas, where she will work as a pediatric nurse. Once she gains experience in the field, she will then return to college to further her education to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. On campus, Aberdeen is involved in the Student Eagle Club, M.A.P.S., Women of Empowerment Association and a Golden Eagle Welcome Week Leader. She also serves in the Army National Guard. 

 “Being elected as sophomore Maid is more than a title to me. It is an accomplishment. I am so appreciative of the support I have received throughout the campaign process, and I am truly excited,” Adair said. “Running for Sophomore Maid, my goal was to represent my class in a positive way and be a great role model for those watching. This is exactly what I plan to do. Being Sophomore Maid, I feel that I will further embody what it means to be a Golden Eagle. Being a person of integrity, respect and kindness, I will express those aspects on and off campus.” 

Junior Maid was presented to Laila Peters. 

Senior Maid was presented to Carrington Brown. 

Graduate Maid was presented to Zoe Scruggs-Gore. Scruggs is a native of Oxford. She is currently working on her third year of becoming a Doctor of Audiology and plans to continue providing audiologic services to the people of Mississippi. Scruggs is an active member of the Student Eagle Club.  

“Being Graduate Maid at Southern Miss means the world to me. My dad graduate from USM in the 80’s and made certain that I was a Golden Eagle before we ever moved to Oxford. Going to Ole Miss was never a dream of mine despite growing up in that atmosphere. My end goal was to always end up at Southern Miss. My love for the school began a long time ago, and I am honored that my peers elected me to represent the graduate students on campus,” Scruggs said. “Being graduate maid also means a lot to me because it has given me he opportunity to raise awareness for the audiology profession. I want to encourage others to think about their hearing health and seek help when necessary. The graduate Maid election has made it easier for me to share my platform, and hopefully it reaches those who need to “hear” it. Overall, I am honored and excited for this opportunity.” 

Student Body Maid was presented to Kaela Barnicle. 

Miss Southern Miss was presented to Gigi Rivera. 

Mr. Southern Miss was presented to James Jefferson III. Jefferson is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is majoring in economics with a minor in history and plans to pursue a law career while furthering his military career. His ultimate goal is to become a judge advocate general in the United States Air Force. On campus, Jefferson is involved in Southern Style 2022 Leader, a Resident Assistant for six semesters, Southern Miss Activities Council, immediate past president of the Men of Excellence, spring 2022 initiate of the Mu Xi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the vice president of the public relations for the National Pan-Hellenic Council for the Southern Miss campus.  

“To me, being Mr. Southern Miss is the cumulative results of all the hard work over the years. Five years ago, and 18-year-old kid from Louisiana began college here on this campus, unbeknownst to him, the trials, tribulations and success that would so follow,” said Jefferson. “Each year during Homecoming, I would look at all the candidates and just marvel at their accomplishments. I did not know however, that I was on my own path to my own success and that other students would feel the same way. I always felt like being successful or being Mr. Southern, you had to fit a specific image or status quo. I am here today as proof that both of those ideas are false. Being Mr. Southern Miss is my crowning achievement at USM, and I vow to serve in this capacity to the very best of my ability.” 

Homecoming Queen was presented to Krystin Maddox. Maddox is a native of Mobile, Alabama. She is majoring in public health and plans to be a physician assistant. On campus, she is involved in the Afro-American Student Organization, president of the Mu Nu chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Eagle Service Ambassador for the office of Inclusion and Multicultural engagement, a Southern Style Leader and the Office of Admissions Tour guide. “Being homecoming queen means knowing that my hard work and dedication to the university, Hattiesburg community and the student body as a whole had not gone unnoticed,” Maddox said. “This is a goal I have had since my freshman year in 2019, and I have worked tirelessly to obtain it. I hope my campaign and platform inspired at least one Golden Eagle to be authentically themselves and go after everything they put their minds to.” 

Homecoming King was presented to Kenny Ellzey. Ellzey is native of Kirby. He is majoring in media and entertainment arts major and plans to become a creative director within the film industry. On campus, he is involved in the Student Involvement Ambassador, Southern Miss Activities Council, Eagle Connection President, Golden Eagle Welcome Week Leader, Southern Style Orientation Leader and a campus tour guide.  

“I believe serving in this role as Homecoming King means embodying what it means to be a Golden Eagle. It means to persevere through trials, step out of your comfort zone to try new things, and always give it your all,” Ellzey said. “These are all aspects that speak to my journey throughout my past three years here at Southern Miss.”  

The University of Southern Mississippi will host its 2022 Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 15. The Golden Eagle football team will be playing against the Arkansas State Red Wolves.  

“With the excitement of joining the Sun Belt Conference, there is no doubt that Homecoming 2022 will be memorable for Golden Eagle fans everywhere,” said Jerry DeFatta, executive director of the Southern Miss Alumni Association. “Homecoming is always an exciting time on campus as it provides us with an opportunity to reconnect with fellow alumni and recognize former students who have played a vital role in the life of the University.”