Boisterous band, surprising Spencer characterize winter pep rally

Another pep rally, another chance for the sports teams to show everyone all that they have accomplished, and boy, they sure have accomplished a lot. Each grade piled in one after the other, wearing their class colors (seniors = black, juniors = blue, sophomores = white, freshmen = gray). The tangible energy of the room was enhanced by the boisterous, empowering songs from the band. Needless to say, the spirit could definitely be felt, with people yelling encouragement and even doing tricks in front of the crowd before the event kicked off.
It wouldn't be a pep rally without the cheerleaders
The seniors, as always, had to make their presence known, but this year, the juniors gave them a run for their money. They screamed rhythmic chants back and forth in response to one another as the sophomores and freshmen looked on from across the court, unsure of what to do with themselves. Cheerleaders performed tricks, with a rather impressive somersault show from Mikayla Benning and the talented Jake Klecko, while the band played enthusiastically. They may not be walking the gym, but they contribute just as much to the sports as the players do.

Mr. Titter and Mr. Shockey then took their spots at the announcing table, as is tradition, to do some of their famous tag-team witty commentary. They introduced all of the school sports and announced their achievements. The sports teams proceeded to walk a lap, garnering cheers along the way. Sports included ice hockey, wrestling, bowling, basketball, swimming, and the indoor color guard. The juniors even chose to show their appreciation of some sports by acting them out, pretending to dunk in a hoop formed by a friend or get knocked over like bowling pins by an invisible bowling ball. High fives were distributed, cheers were yelled, and then, as the teams took their seats, the games began.

Members of various sports teams then faced off in relay races, first the guys, then the girls. They leap frogged, passed basketballs, and used their partners as wheelbarrows. One men’s team faced off against one women’s team. There is some speculation that the boys’ team cheated, according to Mr. Shockey and Mr. Titter, but absent instant replay from our venerable crop of cameras, they took the victory.
Mr. Heyser shoots a foul shot during the faculty v. student
basketball game

The most compelling competition of the day, however, was the teacher vs. student shootout, where the underdog showed some impressive skills. Both female students and staff and male students and staff faced off on opposite ends of the court. Seeing Mr. Eric Spencer, principal, walk onto the gym floor surprised many. What’s the principal doing in basketball shorts? Can he even play? Eyes soon gravitated towards the men’s side, however, as Spencer advanced farther into the competition, until it was only him and Nate Patterson. It would seem like one would win, but then the other would just sneak in for the shot. This process repeated over and over, with gasps and yells from the audience, until, suddenly, a ball was knocked away. Spencer came up for the shot and made it in, a score met by enthralled shouts from the bleachers. Patterson walked back to the senior side, where he was met by a playful “What’s wrong with you?” Spencer jogged off the court, finally victorious, beaming. The crowd was surprised, to say the least.

With the few minutes left, a final challenge was in order, and what better challenge than a game of basketball between staff and seniors (plus some assorted juniors). Faculty members including Mr. Jeffrey Swarr, Mr. Scott Cantrell, Mr. Bill Heyser, and Miss Lisa Boone, as well as athletic director Ms. Branden Lippy (who previously played and coached collegiate basketball) and Mr. Spencer, joined the battle. Despite the determination of both teams, the two were neck and neck all through the game. Halfway through, Mr. Spencer was subbed in, still riding the high from his close victory, and that swap paid off. The teachers edged their way forward, until the score was 12 to 11 in favor of the students. Kids got shoved, teachers fell over, and fouls were called, but the game continued. Finally, with only a minute left, the score was tied (perhaps due to some nefarious, er, incredulous scorekeeping by one Mr. Shockey, but we'll continue to investigate that story). The teams frantically attempted to make the last winning shot but could not seem to push ahead. The seniors had possession of the ball when the bell rang, but just after the end, in a frenzied rush, a student scored. The dust cleared, and still, no one is completely sure if that point actually did count, but either way, the groups put in a terrific effort that captivated the onlookers.

Make sure to catch the basketball quarterfinals home game against Cedar Crest tonight at 7! It’s All-American Night, so wear red, white, and blue, and don’t forget to bring your school spirit.

See a full gallery of Payton King's photos via Google Photos

--Lillian Murr, School News Editor; Photos by Payton King, Staff Photographer

Edited: BP

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