Out of every event that occurs on spirit week, from the lip synch to the talent show, none is more anticipated by students than the pep rally. The pep rally is a display of male cheerleading, sports teams, and the announcement of Homecoming King and Queen. It also brings excitement due to well-known fact the assembly takes us out of whatever mind-numbing course we’re in to the final standoff between the grades for spirit week points. The male cheerleaders will dance off to whatever choreography and music they prepared under the spirit week theme “movies.”
Now the entire event started off as most assemblies do: noisy. Students were directed to their grades section of the Jones Gym bleachers, they chattered with their friends as they knew the pep rally and the end of the half-day edged closer. Then Mr. Ansert grabbed the microphone and a blow horn to silence the crowd.
The noise levels raised significantly as the introduction for each grade began. All grades had their student government officials get on the microphone and bring up the spirits of the crowd. The following noise would be weak in comparison to the ensuring sounds afterward but still it made me blink a few times as stars flew around my skull from the sheer weight of the combined grades voices that pounded my brain.
After the general “get ready” chant went through the crowd, the sports teams were announced. It was nice thing to see all the athletes be recognized for their hard work as well as their triumphs throughout this years’ season. The teams introduced were cross country teams for both girls and boys, the field hockey team, the girls tennis team, and then the boys and girls soccer teams. Between the two respected soccer teams, the girls volleyball team ran out and got their deserved school wide applause for their excellent season during this school year.
We then all had to stand up and pledge to the American flag as Mr. Mark’s trump quartet performed one of America’s most patriotic songs, ‘The Star Spangled Banner’. It seemed the sports intros were yet to be done as the football players took to the blue-mat floor covered gym, all dressed in their white and purple jerseys as they ran in with fresh sort of excitement on their faces like a child getting a gift on a plain old Tuesday. They were not last as the cheerleaders literally took over the mats, showcasing their talents by leaping into midair in jaw-dropping human pyramids. They ended with a fantastic drop before a main event began: male cheerleading.
If the pep rally was the most anticipated event of spirit week, then the male cheerleading is the most anticipated event of the pep rally. The freshman started it off as they began in sports attire due to their theme of “sports” movies and impressed with one in a tutu. They got some well-known classic songs from a few decades ago along with a “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!” to kick it off. They paired it with some nice touches of choreography in their flips over one another that really wowed.
Second came the sophomores whose theme of “horror” came across very clearly from their various costumes and makeup. They danced to ‘Thriller’ but broke the ceiling when Dr. Frankfurter ripped off his robe and began the ‘Time Warp’ dance. This moment, as a sophomore and a ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ fan, was delightfully stunning to me.
Next came the juniors who went far out into their “action” theme. They traveled through ‘Jaws’, ‘Star Wars’, Kung Fu movies, and a spy named Bond masterfully in great choreography and several costume changes between songs along with some great props including light sabers and a shopping cart ship.
The last grade to perform was the seniors, and perform they did. As ‘High School Musical’ and ‘Mary Poppins’ played, the seniors ran through an energized routine that was amazing for every flip the boys got in. Applause was a definite outcome here. This was the finale of the male cheerleading as we moved on to the actual cheerleaders taking the mat along with the football players.
They danced, pulling off moves like the ‘Nae-Nae’ and twerking as the judges decided on who was the winner of the male cheerleading. The vote came in and the winner was the senior with the juniors in second place while the sophomores give third place with freshman bringing up the rear. Then excitement became more diluted as a more elegant event occurred: the announcement of the Homecoming King and Queen.
Each senior, dressed rather snazzy, was escorted in with an overview by Mr. Ansert on who introduced who they are, what they want to do after high school, and what they want to be remembered for by their fellow peers. The King and Queen announcement was given over to Dr. Morton who stated our royalty: Samiyah Cruel and Oliver Ensley.
The pep rally concluded after the homecoming finale, with the vocal groups of Fermata and Men of Note singing our Alma Mater song as students were encouraged to stand and sing along, or pretend to.
Noise overtook the gymnasium once again as people crowded to the exit, remembering that early dismissal and a four day weekend awaited them beyond.