A smile beamed across the face of Augusta Christian Schools' newly-crowned home- coming queen as she was escorted off the football field Friday in a black Mercedes-Benz convertible.
The car took senior Ava Oellerich for a lap around the field after her peers voted her queen.
"I didn't even know they were doing that," the 18-year-old said of the car ride.
Dressed in a tan shimmering evening town, Oellerich said she had no idea that she'd captured the crown.
"I was really surprised, but I'm so excited," she said. "I couldn't believe it."
Oellerich, who was a member of last year's homecoming court, is part of Augusta Christian's yearbook club.
She also volunteers at The Place, an area nursing home where she enjoys visiting and singing to residents.
Oellerich said she is also learning to play guitar.
Bailee Adams and Danielle Mulherin joined Oellerich as seniors on the 2011 homecoming court. Augusta Christian didn't name a first and second-runner up.
Part of what made the night so memorable, Oellerich said, was to share it with her good friends.
"The whole court was really fun," she said.
Other court members were freshmen Chloe Horseman and Olivia Piccolo; sophomores Tara Borden and Caroline Roberson; and juniors Stefanie Bloedel and Taylor Cason.
Ted Oellerich, who escorted his daughter onto the field, said he was thankful his daughter won, adding that the court consisted of great girls.
"She's a compassionate little girl, very good-hearted," he said of Oellerich after she was crowned.
After high school, Oellerich plans to move to Nashville and pursue her dream of becoming a country singer.