Ridings wins Mr. PCHS 2009 crown

Published 1:52 pm Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Justin Ridings was escorted by Mackenzie Lynne Trowell. (photo by Gary Clark)Ridings&squo; talent was telling dog jokes with his dog.

Ridings received the crown, a sash, flowers, a full page in the yearbook and a professional portrait.

Ridings is the son of Lewis D. Ridings of Rutherfordton. He wrestles, plays football, is a hunter and a member of the FFA and National Honor Society. Ridings was nominated by the yearbook and was escorted by Mackenzie Lynne Trowell. Ridings says his hopes are to attend N.C. State University once graduating from Polk County and to pursue a degree in civil engineering.

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Underwood was nominated by the freshman class and is the son of Gary and Katha Underwood of Saluda. Underwood&squo;s talent was playing the fiddle. Underwood serves on student council, is a member of the Entertainment Club, the Science Olympiad Team and wrestles, plays soccer and tennis. He was escorted Saturday by Emily Antonio.

Hall, a senior, was nominated by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Hall sang and played guitar for his talent.Hall is the son of Richard and Angela Hall, of Columbus. Hall is an avid sports enthusiast, participates in cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor track. Hall was escorted on Saturday by Ashley Rebecca Lynch.

Gary, a junior, was nominated by the men&squo;s basketball team. Gary airbrushed a picture of President Barack Obama for his talent. Gary is the son of Gary Booker and Tiffany Carson of Tryon and plays on the varsity basketball team. Gary was escorted Saturday by Ashley Nicole Stembridge.

Guggi, an Australian foreign exchange student, represented the AFS exchange program. Guggi played the accordion for his talent. Guggi stays with the Barbara Tousey family in Tryon. Guggi plays soccer and snowboards at Polk County. He was escorted Saturday by Martina Carli, an AFS student from Italy.

Judges narrowed down the selection to the final five, who were asked questions. All contestants participated in sportswear and talent competitions, with sportswear ranging from football and basketball uniforms to a Sumo wrestler and a fencing uniform to motorcycle gear with the contestant riding his motorcycle onstage.