[with my favorite JV girls Taylor and Kendall]
Tomorrow is our final pep rally for football season (unless we make it into playoffs so cross your fingers!). It's our annual night time pep rally so that we can have an extended amount of time and bring in everyone from the community. Our last district game is against the Strake Jesuit Crusaders. Seeing that Stratford is lame and moved down to the 4A-District, our new rival is Strake. While some students are hesitant to embrace this change, I don't mind it. Two of my three brothers attended Strake, so it's kind of close to home for me. Besides, at the end of the day we're usually better than both Strake and the Spartans, so it's a win-win for us...literally.
The pep rally tomorrow night is a simple, classic red-out theme. I feel as though I've posted numerous pictures of pep rallies without explaining just what takes place during these 30 minutes (and the 9 hours during the week spent practicing for them!). So, as your MHS pep rally captain, I feel it my duty to break down the basics of a high school pep rally.
Alma Mater: When the students are finally crowded into their designated area in the gym (it's divided by grade level), we kick the pep rally off by singing our Alma Mater.
Circle Flip: As the Alma Mater is coming to a close, the cheerleaders huddle in a circle alternating boy-girl-boy-girl and all the girls back flip out of the circle.
Fight Song: The cheerleaders space themselves around the gym performing our traditional routine to the Fight Song.
Band Stunts: This is the cheerleader's main priority during the week's practices. Essentially, it's to show off the band's talents, however, the cheerleaders perform to their song with a routine of stunts. From an audience member's perspective, it may look easy. The crowds "oohhhhhhhs" when someone makes a mistake is enough evidence that they usually don't appreciate the numerous hours of practice we take into choreographing and perfecting these difficult stunts.
Markettes: Our drill team is called the Markettes. They try out each week to perform at the pep rally. The chosen few perform a dance that ranges from hip-hop to a kick dance. Regardless, the Markettes never fail to impress the crowd.
Players of the Week: The coaches pick 4 senior boys to be the Players of the Week. The cheerleaders give them a water jug decorated to the theme and usually embellished with pictures of themselves. They announce the details of their upcoming game and get the crowd laughing by reading a rhyme about one of their teammates (the cheerleaders create these also..). An example from a past week is "We'll be one in a million with Tyler Killion"
[Wayne Taylor, Kelly Kuni, Cade Skeete, and Tyler Killion were the first players of the week]
Best Dressed: Awards are given out to a boy and a girl from each grade level who either went all our or were very creative in their themed dress for the day. One award is also given for the best overall.
Mascot Skit: The mascots perform a game, song, or skit with either players from the sport other than football featured, teachers, or randomly selected students.
[Mustang Max (Elaine Thomas) and Mustang Sally (Colleen Morgan) doing their thing]
Cheerleader Dance: Sometimes the cheerleaders perform a dance-type routine in addition to band stunts. This year we have performed at the Western, Rock & Roll, and Circus pep rallies.
Red & White: If time permits, four girls go up in a stunt in different sections of the gym while holding up signs that say RED/MUSTANGS and WHITE/FIGHT. The gym is split in half and they alternate screaming RED...WHITE...MUSTANGS...FIGHT. Sometimes this is taken into account when determining the winner of the spirit stick, but it's mostly based on the......
[Lexi leading the crowd in Red & White]
Battle Cry: The cheerleaders lead a chant that progresses from Freshman to Seniors and when your designated grade is called, you stand up and say "V-I-C-T-O-R-Y that's the (grade level) BATTLE CRY!" The loudest, most-spirited grade level is awarded with the spirit stick for that week. The freshman usually win. Ha...I mean the freshman are usually silenced by the rest of the student body booing them. They complain, but that's high school. You'll be booing in a short 9 months little fishies. The seniors have taken the spirit stick every week this year. We promise the principals pick, not us!
Usually, there is some added in extra whether it be Mr. Markette (when the football players imitate the Markettes moves), a special performer (like most recently with magician Carter Blackburn for Circus), or a performance by the Color Guard.
Here's a look at the two most recent pep rallies: rock & roll and the circus-themed Homecoming pep rally.
While the practices leading up to pep rallies are stressful, the thrill of performing in front of the whole school makes it all worth it. I've watched three squads come before me and always waited for the day that I'd get to do that circle flip or the fight song routine. And now it's come and gone! So here's to a victory at the Strake game this weekend so we can have an extended pep rally season and more time with my 2nd family--the cheer squad.
And to all my cheer girls--MFND. Shout out to Hoss III our boy.