By Emma Forshee
On Friday, October 28, the BHS cheerleaders hosted a pep rally in the main gym. Students and teachers cheered for the fall sports teams as senior Benton Yoxtheimer announced all of their outstanding accomplishments this past season. The room reverberated with the sounds of the BHS Marching Eagles flashing instruments. Cheerleaders enthusiastically displayed their stunts and encouraged student participation through games and cheers.
All these events were meant to accomplish the ultimate purpose of a pep rally: to work students into a spirited frenzy, encouraging the teams to win their games. As Rachel Holbrook, a senior and cheerleader said, pep rallies are meant to “bring cheer and enthusiasm to the community.” However, this pep rally did not accomplish that goal. In fact, it may have even done the opposite.
While some students were genuinely excited about the event, the general attitude surrounding the pep rally was negative. “Going into the pep rally, I felt some people were kind of negative and then some people didn’t know what to expect,” Mr. Carreira, a social studies teacher at Bellbrook High School, said. Most students were either indifferent or critical towards the pep rally leading to poor attendance, especially in the senior section. Furthermore, rather than leading the lower classes in cheers and fervor, the senior class killed the vibe with their eye rolls, sarcastic comments, and general negativity. The lack of positive energy from the senior section dampened the mood in the gym and progressively smothered the enthusiasm from the lower classes.
This kind of behavior from the senior class does nothing but encourage other students to be negative towards school-wide events. It demonstrates poor leadership. The senior class needs to step up to lead the lower classes both in school spirit and character. After all the hard work and planning on the part of the cheerleaders, it is the responsibility of the students, particularly the seniors, to make the pep rally a success. In the wise words of Pimmy Phueakthong, a senior and cheerleader, “The seniors need to focus more on spirit-ing.”
Are pep rallies really worthwhile? According to Carreira, “Pep rallies serve a valuable purpose in helping build community within the school.” However the adverse reaction to the recent pep rally puts the validity of this statement into limbo. “It was boring,” freshman Nolan Sickles said. The fact that the pep rally was a mandatory event may have made the school spirit feel forced. An event such as a festival or tailgate may be more effective in building community and school spirit because it is not required.
In any case, pep rallies are meant to be lively and entertaining events. Organizers hope they will continue to grow and be refined. “It’s a learning experience and the next ones we do will improve each time,” David Hann, principal at BHS, said.
Pep rallies are a part of the high school experience. Students should embrace the silliness of the games and activities; they should let loose and enjoy! Seniors should be the leaders, hyping up others rather than dragging them down. All students and staff should have pride in our school. This school is ours – own it.
Let’s soar together, Golden Eagles.