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Baker Takes Crown
It has been quite the senior year for Escalon High student Zac Baker, who notched another milestone when he was crowned Homecoming King on Friday night.

Selected for the honor among four other candidates - all of whom were his football teammates - Baker broke out in a big smile as the crowd roared and started the now-familiar chant "Ba-ker, Ba-ker" when his name was announced.

Homecoming Queen Jamie Franceschetti placed the crown on his head, with his fellow candidates them swarming him with congratulations and posing for photos.

The son of Ron and Kim Baker, Zac has a younger brother, Brody, and enjoys activities including riding quads and dirt bikes, playing video games and football and hanging out with his friends.

"It's just a euphoric feeling," Baker said of what the Homecoming Week was like, from being nominated to taking part in the Friday afternoon rally to hearing his name as the Homecoming King.

"I'm shocked and so happy," added mom Kim, wiping away a tear. "I'm so proud of him."

Nominated along with Baker were Jason Diniz, Travis Cardoza, Spencer Franceschetti and Nick Largent.

The candidates wore their nomination crowns periodically throughout the week leading up to the Friday night Homecoming game, and took part in various events at the Friday afternoon rally.

Jayme Rose offered a rendition of the National Anthem prior to tip off of the Friday night varsity basketball game against Ripon Christian, and the host Cougars made it a successful Homecoming by sweeping all three contests, freshman, JV and varsity. (See stories, photos in Sports, A8 and A9.)

Beating Ripon Christian at Homecoming made it even more special for Baker, who notched his first-ever varsity football touchdown in a victory over RC on the gridiron.

Baker said his selection was unexpected, not anticipating getting the crown. And as happy as he is to have won it, he's not sure his senior year can get any better.

"I don't think it can," he said, flashing a winning smile.