BURKBURNETT, Texas (KFDX/KJTL) — From the mum flower arrangements to the football game, from the spirit of the fans to the pageantry of the court, homecoming is a Texas tradition that’s as old as time.
Burkburnett High School, located near the state’s northern border with Oklahoma, celebrated their homecoming on Friday, September 23, 2022, with a thrilling come-from-behind victory after trailing at halftime against the Vernon Lions, 35-30, at Bulldogs Stadium.
But there was a moment during halftime that transcended all of that.
Kabrey Kurszewski-Hoskins was named the 2022 Homecoming Queen, a dream-come-true for small-town Texas girls. But it’s what she did next that brought tears to the eyes of every fan in the stands.
Kurszewski-Hoskins took off the crown and placed it upon the head of Kylie Brantley, her childhood friend, and chose her to be the Homecoming Queen.
But the story of this incredible moment started almost a decade ago, when Kurszewski-Hoskins moved to Burkburnett and met Brantley.
Brantley was born with special needs, but ask any of her friends and family and they’ll be the first to tell you, that hasn’t stopped her from being the life of the party.
“Me and Kylie have always had a special friendship,” Kurszewski-Hoskins said. “When I moved here in third grade, we just automatically clicked.”
Now, they’re seniors in high school, making memories before they walk the stage. It was one of their longtime friends, McKenna Ruiz, who actually set this incredible moment in motion.
“I’ve known her, everyone’s known her ever since we were little,” Ruiz said. “Everyone loves her and I was just like, ya know, this is a girl that definitely deserves this moment.”
Ruiz is the one who nominated Brantley to be Homecoming Queen, to join Kurszewski-Hoskins on the field and to be a part of the Homecoming Court at halftime. They were both just happy to be there.
“I was honored to be on the field and to be next to some of my closest friends,” Kurszewski-Hoskins said.
Kurszewski-Hoskins didn’t expect to win, but it was her name that was called over the speakers at halftime, along with another childhood friend, Rylan Stringfellow.
Stringfellow has been friends with all three of these girls for as long as he can remember. He’s a wide receiver for the Bulldogs, and he was crowned Homecoming King on Friday night.
Stringfellow said when Kurszewski-Hoskins got the crown, he knew exactly what she was going to do next.
“She walked away and everyone was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what’s she doing?’ She’s just walking away, it’s not done yet,” Stringfellow said. “But, I knew where she was walking to. She didn’t really want this, she wanted the true queen to have it.”
Kurszewski-Hoskins handed Stringfellow her flowers, took Brantley’s princess crown off her head and replaced it with the queen’s crown. She said Brantley’s face just lit up.
“I just felt very, very joyful, it really made my day,” Brantley said. “And for McKenna nominating me, it made me feel like a true princess. It made me feel very happy.”
And just like that, there wasn’t a dry eye left in the stadium.
“She told me that night, oh, you made my night, you made my night,” Kurszewski-Hoskins said. “I said Kylie, you’ve been making my day for 10 years that we’ve gone to school together, so, she deserves all the love.”
That was a moment no one at the stadium will ever forget, especially Burkburnett’s new homecoming queen herself.
“I really think that’s a really cool experience because not only I’m the queen, but many other seniors in this school deserve to be queen,” Brantley said.
Kurszewski-Hoskins, who was given an honor many hope for throughout high school, selflessly shone the spotlight on someone else.
“Really, the story is that Kylie’s just the queen, and she’s just beautiful,” Kurszewski-Hoskins said.
It’s a moment traditions can’t even touch.