New Albany family touts a pair of Mississippi State homecoming queens

NEW ALBANY – Immediately after she was elected Mississippi State University’s homecoming queen, Anne Elise Parks made a phone call to a previous honoree.
It was also her sister. And her best friend.
When Parks is crowned Saturday during halftime of MSU’s football game against Alabama-Birmingham, she will be the second member of her family to be so honored. Older sister Sara Beth Parks was MSU’s homecoming queen in 2006.
“I think we’re just so humbled by it,” said Sara Beth, 25, who now works for a graphics design company in Birmingham. “It’s kind of a shock. I don’t know if it ever makes sense. We didn’t think it could happen once, but especially twice.”
The two New Albany High School graduates are four years apart in age, and their parents, Bill and Beth Parks, said their daughters have never been competitive with each other.
Still, Beth Parks admits that her motherly emotions took hold when her younger daughter was nominated for the court by her sorority, Delta Gamma.
“When we heard she was going to run, we were excited, but we knew there would be added pressure,” Beth Parks said. “Even if she didn’t compare herself, we knew that would be in the back of her mind. We tried to prepare her that it is still an honor to be nominated.”
That was not the only preparation given to Anne Elise. When the stress became intense, the 21-year-old broadcast meteorology major could turn to her sister.
“I knew that she could relate, and she would have good advice on how to handle it,” Anne Elise said.
Most emotional was that first phone call to Sara Beth after Anne Elise knew she had been elected.
“We just sat there laughing,” she said, “because we were both processing how crazy it was.”
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal