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File photo/NEWS Heather Deems receives a hug after she is named Wilmington High’s Homecoming queen for 2008-09. Tomorrow, she will join other such queens from around the country at the Liberty Bowl.

Wilmington High will have yet another piece of the national spotlight Jan. 2.

Senior Heather Deems has been chosen as one of four homecoming queens to represent Pennsylvania in pregame and halftime ceremonies at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn.

In November, Wilmington senior tuba player Nancy Hartman headed to New York to be part of the 185-member Macy’s Great American Marching Band in the retailer’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

On Jan. 1, Penn State senior Brian Taylor — a Wilmington High graduate and a tuba player himself — marched with the university’s Blue Band at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

Heather won’t be doing anything musical, but she will be sharing the field at halftime with country star Sara Evans.

“I don’t know if we’ll get to meet her,” Heather said. “That’d be sweet if we could.”

A daughter of Jeff and Colleen Deems of Volant, Heather was chosen for the bowl game and its associated activities through America’s Homecoming Queens National Pageant Registry. According to the letter informing her of her selection, all homecoming queens’ names are on file with the registry, and Heather was among those picked from around the country based on academic achievements, community activities and her “all-around status as an outstanding individual.”

Heather said she was surprised at being chosen — especially because she didn’t realize she’d even applied.

“I got this letter in the mail, all the homecoming queens in Pennsylvania got it,” she said. “It was for Miss Pennsylvania. That competition is in a couple of months. It didn’t say anything about the Liberty Bowl.

“I was just like, what the heck, and I filled it out, and I sent it back in. Then they said I got picked as one of the four (queens) representing Pennsylvania. I’m representing the West.”

Prior to the start of the Jan. 2 game between East Carolina and Kentucky — “I’m rooting for Kentucky,” Heather noted — all queens will be escorted onto the field by Air National Guardsman. They will return to the field at halftime as part of a spectacular show featuring Evans.

In addition, Heather and the other queens will participate today in the Liberty Bowl Parade on Memphis’ renowned Beale Street, attend assorted receptions and visit with kids from St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

At Wilmington, Heather is a three-year letter winner in volleyball and has been co-captain her junior and senior seasons. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Spanish Club and Peer Leadership. Prior to Christmas, she volunteered as a Salvation Army bell ringer at Wal-Mart with other National Honor Society members.

She plans to attend college and major in nursing.

The game starts at 4 p.m. and will be telecast on ESPN.

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