Homecoming King proposes to Queen 

Written by Isabelle Hendrich, staff writer 

DAYTON, Tenn. — On Oct. 2, 2021, Jonathan David Nelson proposed to Sarah Welch after they were crowned Homecoming king and queen. 

From Oct. 1-3, 2021, Bryan College held its annual Homecoming weekend. Homecoming at Bryan includes many different events where students, alumni, faculty, parents and friends celebrate their common involvement in Bryan College. 

This year’s activities included an alumni chapel featuring Tyler Ford ‘96, 100-Inning Varsity Softball Fundraiser, and the Rock and Roar Ice Cream Party and Big Band. The Rock and Roar was a Sadie Hawkins dance where the girls were encouraged to ask the guys to the event, which occurred on Friday night, Oct. 1.  

Members voted onto the Homecoming court included freshmen Chase Nichols, Jack Smith, Rachel Norman and Natalie Scruggs. Sophomores on the court were Devin Henderson, Kevin Phipps, Alyssa Karnes and Marlee Montgomery. Juniors on the court consisted of Moses Cope, Ben Paul, Sadie Bryan and Makenzie Heiss. Seniors included Carlos Portilllo, John David Nelson, Joshua Bianchi, Peyton Lawyer, Sarah Welch, Elizabeth Spencer, Randi Hazelwood and Sarah Sever. 

Welch is a senior EHS physical education licensure major, and Nelson is a senior psychology major. Both have been a part of Bryan College’s Cross-Country and Track and Field team since their freshman year in 2018. 

The Homecoming Court was announced during half-time of the men’s soccer game on Oct. 2. Before the event, Nelson asked several friends to vote for himself and Welch as king and queen. 

“So whenever people would ask who to vote for, I told them they could vote for Jon David and Sarah, just kind of gently suggesting it,” said Randi Hazelwood, who was also part of the Homecoming court and helped facilitate the voting table. 

Welch is currently working as a student-teacher at Frazier and Graysville Elementary. Therefore, she was not aware of other students conspiring to vote for her and Nelson. While Welch was surprised, she said, “I was a little suspicious because some of our friends from Auburn, Alabama drove up to Dayton for Homecoming.” 

While she suspected Jon David might ask, Welch did not think Nelson was going to propose since they had not decided upon a ring yet. Welch commented she was glad friends and family could witness the special occasion. 

“They had plans to go ring shopping and she wanted to go and Nelson said sure, let’s go after homecoming, so she thought he didn’t have a ring,” said Randi Hazelwood. 

Nelson originally had the idea to propose at Homecoming junior year when he and Welch were on the homecoming court and someone mentioned that it would be a good idea. During an RA retreat before school started this semester, Nelson decided that he was going to prose at Homecoming this year. 

“The whole time my heart is racing, beating super hard and super fast, and a lot of people, some of my closer friends who knew what was going on would kinda look at me and smile or wink or something and I couldn’t help but smile back but I knew I had to stay calm so Sarah wouldn’t know that was going on,” Nelson said when describing his day before the Homecoming court was announced. 

Worried about the proposal, Nelson said he could not sleep the night before Homecoming. Nelson was also anxious that if he and Welch did not get voted Homecoming court king and queen, he would be stealing the spotlight from the other possible king and queen. 

Welch and Nelson plan on getting married on June 5, 2022 after they graduate from Bryan College on April 30, 2022. After this, they plan on working as missionaries with foster kids at Ponderosa Bible Camp in Mentone, AL. 

Isabelle Hendrich is a communication major and history minor at Bryan College. Besides running, Hendrich likes to read and do crafts. She is a triplet whose siblings, Benjamin and Savannah, are also attending Bryan College.