Back inside: A look at the first pep rally of the year

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Photo provided by: Marcela Maya Escalona

During the Aug. 19 pep rally, senior Chase Morris watches as the juniors and seniors from the varsity football team battle it out in a game of tug-of-war. The game was one of many played at the rally to encourage school spirit. “The pep rally definitely makes you feel excited to be there,” freshman Gloria Estefanos said. “You know that if the pep rally is fun then the football game that night is bound to be fun as well.”

Avery Ranum and Trinidy Kev

I think that the last pep rally was probably the loudest, it is the loudest, we’ve ever heard. ”

— leadership teacher Lynn Moran-Peebles

On Aug. 19, the main gym opened its doors to its first pep rally following a three-year-long hiatus. In years prior, the school opted for outside pep rallies to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions, so bringing the rallies back indoors is one way school events are getting back to normal. 

“The energy that you feel in the gym is so much more different than what you feel outside,” leadership teacher Lynn Moran-Peebles said. “We’ve done indoor ones before but they’ve never been this exciting.”

Students were packed in the stands by grade level, seniors getting their own section where away game crowds traditionally sit. The rally included a number of games that called for audience participation like tug-of-war, flip the tarp and a game of musical chairs by the teachers. 

“In tug of war, we just lined up in a group,” freshman Gloria Estefanos. “And for the tarp game, we had to flip over this mat while we were standing on it.”

The rally also included performances from the band, dance team and the Star Steppers. The cheer team also made an appearance on the sidelines. 

“Cheer was in charge of doing the dances with the band, and since I’m a senior, I was in charge of standing in front of the section with all the other seniors,” senior and varsity cheer captain Kylie Johnson said. “We had to hype up the crowd and do the band dances and keep the energy moving throughout the pep rally. We spent a lot of time practicing going over the band dances to make sure we had them down perfect.”

Since the last indoor pep rally has not taken place since 2019, the current senior class, class of 2023, was the only grade to have ever experienced an indoor pep rally until the event. 

“The pep rally was different from the freshman year pep rally indoors because no one really knew what to expect,” Johnson said. “The turnout was different and we just really weren’t that sure how it would go since it’s been so long since we had one indoors.”

As of now, two more pep rallies are in the works: one before the annual rivalry against Lake Mary High School game on Sept. 16  and one before the homecoming game on Oct. 28. With the large turnout and major success of the recent pep rally, it does not appear the event will be stopping anytime soon.

“We plan on getting more student involvement and getting more student organizations involved from on campus,” Moran-Peebles said. “We want to unify all of the grade levels together.”