Sisterly connection to Sophia Strand adds to the fun
By Robert Williams
One of the best photos of Turkey Days was newly-crowned Miss Frazee Hailey Selly and her friends and family wearing T-shirts they prepared the night prior with Hailey’s name on it for when she would be crowned. ¶ “I heard my name and was okay, here we go, and then I had my whole family up there with their T-shirts,” Selly said. ¶ The shirts idea came from close friend Kate Vigen. ¶ “We did that the night before the competition; we were just at Pizza, Puzzles and Pop at CornerStone and we won that competition and we were like, let’s go get ice cream, and she said we should make T-shirts for tomorrow night.” ¶ Selly captured the crown in only her second pageant. ¶ “I ran for the Teen last year,” she said. “It was a good experience. I obviously didn’t get the crown last year, but I got a lot of money in scholarships. I was happy and it was all new to me. This year, I was leery about doing it going into my senior year, maybe I should just enjoy it.”
Good friend and Miss Frazee 2022 Marcella George had something else to say about that.
“She and I have always been good friends through dance and she was like, ‘You should do it; you’d have so much fun,’ and I think she and I are a lot alike. I was nervous because I have such a busy schedule. Can I juggle all this at once? She’s also insanely busy, but she did it.”Hailey Selly
George offered her assistance, along with the positive reinforcement.
“She talked me into it,” said Selly.
Outside of regular classwork, Selly is incredibly busy dancing for both the Fly Girls and Northern Lights Dance Academy (NLDA), and starting lineup positions on the volleyball, basketball and track and field teams.
The past few months have also provided Selly with quality accolades as the closer of the school record breaking relay team that placed fourth at state track and part of NLDA’s national championship production line this summer.
“That was crazy; we’ve had good experiences at Nationals, but getting two dances into the final day and then coming out on top, especially with our biggest dance, Production Line, where we have 50 girls in it—that was really cool because now we can share that as a whole studio,” said Selly.
The Miss Frazee crown and sash are now additional awards for Selly’s stash.
“I have it on my dresser and my sash is hung up with all my medals from sports,” she said.
Academically, Selly is also running at her own pace. With the help of friend and Hornet alum McKenzie Wake, she has worked ahead in the Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) online college program her junior year and will continue this year with a couple classes at the school fall semester.
She starts her collegiate classes in two weeks and is going to take a crack at college chemistry.
“I don’t really like science, but I love math, so chemistry is kind of in the middle,” she said.
By the time she graduates high school next spring, Selly will be just four classes short of her Associates Degree.
“I already had high expectations of myself and I know Sophia (Strand) is on the same track,” she said.
Miss Frazee Teen 2023 Sophia Strand and Selly have a special connection that goes back to the beginning of their childhoods.
“My mom used to do daycare and when they first moved here; Sophia was probably three, a child, so she got welcomed to the daycare and of course it’s my mom, so there I am. Since we were little. Even some of my closest friends—Rian Eckert is one of my closest friends and she used to go to my mom’s daycare.”Hailey Selly
The close connection between the two girls is going to be beneficial for teaming up on all the community events the Miss Frazees will be attending throughout the next year.
“It is nice having such a good relationship with Sophia; it’s not like we have to meet each other first to begin our reign,” Selly said. “I’m excited because we already know each other and what level is this going to bring our friendship?”
While having the crowns for less than a week, both Selly and Strand are working on planning for future events and continuing the work Strand has been doing for years with her civic platforms.
“We talked a little bit about it,” Selly said. “We’ll be doing the back-to-school night and the teacher welcome back and obviously, with the Stand By Me Foundation, all of that through basketball, and the volleyball pink night, most of the big events that have to do with her platforms. That is so exciting because she already has so many background events that she already does.”
The duo also want to create something that will help the girls who follow them in 2024.
“We’re also talking about next year with the pageant getting a book ready for the incoming royalty,” Selly said. “Our first day, we didn’t know what we were doing. After the pageant, it was all excitement and we got our paper on what we had to do Sunday. We were like, oh man! We have events, what do we wear, what do we do? We want to make a little book for the people coming in and scrapbook our year so they can look at it and know what to do.”
The two also had to quickly become accustomed to being recognizable to the public.
“Even our first day, it was so cool to have random people come up and introduce themselves,” said Selly. “Even at the turkey luncheon, there were so many people who came up and the little kids are so cute. We were getting crepes and there was this little girl who looked up at us and said, ‘Are you girls princesses?’” Selly laughed. “It just makes your heart so happy because they look at you like you’re an idol.”
Miss Frazee 2023 is looking forward to representing her hometown.
“That’s what I love about Frazee,” she said. “It’s a small town, so we all get along, we all know each other and it’s nice to see the involvement of everybody.”