As the lights went down in the Winters High School Gymnasium on the evening of Wednesday, March 7, two mysterious voices from the side of the stage announced that Mr. Warrior was missing, and the evening would be dedicated to finding him. The old school sleuthing theme carried on through the night, which ended with the uncovering of the 2018 Mr. Warrior: senior Sammy Gonzales representing the Future Farmers of America.
Mr. Warrior is a classic pageant competition held every year to bring students from a diverse group of clubs and classes to duke it out for the prestigious title. For the first year since the pageant’s origins, the winner was adorned with a king’s crown rather than the warrior headdress, which was displayed off to the side as a token of history.
The 2018 show featured McKay Baker, Bernardo Covarrubias, Kohner Butts, Avondre Coleman-Tucker, Sammy Gonzales and Anne Guidici.
Emcees Emily Ferreira and Lexi Cardinale introduced the contestants who each graced the stage showcasing their quirky personalities.
Baker casually bribed judges Gwen Pisani, Carla Wroten and Roy Owens with a bag of butterfingers while Butts signaled tech to cut the music while he asked all of his Interact club compatriots to stand and announce the Four Way Test of morals.
Guidici, representing the WHS robotics club Kaprekar’s Constant rolled in on a motorized armchair, hopped out and gave an enthusiastic wave to the crowd.
For the skit portion of the evening, Butts, who played Shaggy, and a group of friends impersonated characters from Scooby Doo, and caught the culprit who stole the Scooby Snacks: English teacher Matt Biers-Ariel.
“You meddling kids! But Shaggy, you’re still my favorite,” said Biers-Ariel.
Gonzales leapt on to the stage dressed up in Sherlock Holmes garb as Lieutenant Gonzales with his sidekick Cooper (played by family golden retriever, Cooper). He set out to unravel the truth behind missing FFA livestock.
“Hot Diggity Dog, Cooper!” he shouted every time he found a clue in the audience leading him to “PETA member” vice principal Justin Young.
Baker interrogated suspects to find which of them was handing out illegal math.
“I don’t distribute it I just do it!” cried one of the defendants.
“I haven’t used math since the second grade,” cried another.
For the talent portion of the evening, Covarrubias put on a beatboxing clinic and Guidici treated the audience to a beautiful rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”
Butts put his tap dancing talent on display with partner, young tapper Isabella Rodriguez, and Coleman-Tucker played the theme from “The Pink Panther” on saxophone.
Gonzales picked a cowboy boot-wearing partner from the audience (fellow FFA member Payton Paschoal) and danced a country-western routine with her to “I’ve Got a Brand New Girlfriend” by Steve Holy.
During the formal wear portion of the evening, contestants each answered a question for the judges.
Coleman-Tucker announced his passion for becoming a NASA engineer.
Gonzales explained that he got his nickname, Birddog,” for his trustworthy and dependable qualities.
Covarrubias went on to say that his determination, perseverance and beatboxing have led him to success.
Guidici answered why she chose to participate in the pageant with a desire to raise awareness about robotics, a newer club on campus.
“We design, we build, we collaborate and we strategize. There are boundless opportunities that come with robotics,” she said.
Baker said his role model is his father, math teacher Matt Baker.
“I hope to follow in his footsteps and go to BYU,” he said proudly.
Butts stated that the only major problem with Winters High School is the student parking lot.
“Because some students have really, really big trucks,” he said.
After a nerve-wracking addition of scores, Butts was announced Mr. Congeniality and handed his prize: gift baskets from Eagle Drug and Anytime Fitness.
Building suspense, the emcees unveiled awards in reverse order.
Guidici placed third, Baker placed second and Gonzales took the crown to massive crowd approval.
Gonzales charmed away the competition for a basket of local riches supplied by Ocean Chinese Restaurant, Buckhorn, Putah Creek, In N Out, Taco Bell, Krispy Kreme, Lester Farms, Regal Cinemas, The Scoop, Yolo Trader’s Bistro, Ficelle, Round Table, Jamba, Steady Eddy’s and Tomat’s.