MERCED — A dozen seniors are in the running to become Mr. Golden Valley at Saturday's pageant in the school theater, and they want the crown even if it's just plastic, Kristen McNamara said.
McNamara will be one of two emcees for the 7 p.m. event. She is the junior class president and talked her boyfriend into entering the not-so-serious competition that has been a campus tradition for at least 10 years.
One of the contestants is Scott Diele, associated student body president.
"As far back as I can remember, Golden Valley High School has always hosted the Mr. GV Pageant," Diele said. "Watching the male contestants participate in a beauty pageant, which included dance routines and the boys performing crazy talents, overall, it's a comical man-pageant that adds to the traditions in place at GV."
The public is invited to attend the pageant. Funds raised from $5 general admission tickets will be applied toward the Feb. 1 Make-a-Wish rally at the school.
McNamara, who was named Merced County's Outstanding Teen, choreographed the contestants' dance routines and their costuming. She said the event has been moved from Friday to Saturday in hopes more people can attend.
Like more conventional beauty pageants, competition is divided into six categories. Twenty points will be awarded for the best pre-interview, 10 points for spirit wear and cheer, 20 points for swimwear, 30 points for talent and another 20 points for formal wear and an on-stage interview.
Aaron Sanchez is entered as Mr. Nice Guy. He said he really is a nice guy and hopes to inspire people to be nice to others. He is worried how he will do in Saturday night's on-stage interview.
Spencer Pfeiff is Mr. Water Polo. He said the contest is fun and an excuse to be with friends. When he wins, he says, he hopes he will be in the next Subway sandwich television commercial and that it will impress college officials.
Austin Trinidad, Mr. Baseball, drew chuckles from fellow competitors when he said he hopes it helps world peace, polar bears and stops global warming. He said the contest is one more way to get involved in school activities, adding that he watched the recent Miss America pageant.
Ridge Bertuccio, varsity football team quarterback, is glad the contest helps the Make-a-Wish rally. "I don't take myself too seriously," Bertuccio said. "It's a big comedy thing. It's cool they changed the role."
Nicolette Spitzer also is a master of ceremonies for the pageant. The 16-year-old junior is the commissioner of fund raising and said the pageant is a tradition that gets bigger each year.
"It's a great event," Spitzer said. "It's really entertaining and parents love it."
Vong Thao is Mr. ICC. Members of the International Culture Club urged him to enter and he's hoping to have some fun Saturday.
Steve Manivong is Mr. Homecoming, thanks to being named homecoming king last October. He won the coolest hair award for the school yearbook and said the pageant will make the community happy.
Jay Vang is Mr. Artist. He's the one who draws cartoons at school and felt like he needed to do something for his senior year.
"It's my escape from being part of the crowd and was motivation for me to try something," Vang said.
Mark Saur is entered as Mr. Tech Guy. He's the one who makes videos promoting school events and public safety announcements against bullying. Like Trinidad, he said his noble goal is to pursue happiness.
Zack Salado, Mr. Awesome Hair, said he spends considerable time with his hair and it's his trademark. His older sister's best friend entered the competition five years ago and that inspired him to do the same.
Dante Pecchenino is Mr. FFA. The contest seemed like a fun way to get involved and see what it's like to be a beauty queen. He attended the Miss Merced County pageant.
Victor Salas, Mr. Chef, said the contest allows him to bond with the other students, adding that he wanted to do something different. He is president of the school's Culinary Club.
Austin Worden, the school's activities director, is participating in his first GV contest.
"I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys and leadership students to help," Worden said.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.