Pep Rally Kicks off Year on Positive Note


Mr. Crisafi

Mr. Cavallo checks to see if all the sixth-grade boys lined up have watches on. In this competition, the grade level with the most individuals wearing watches were declared the winners.

She sprinted towards the red pinny, as the cheers and screams of the student body filled her ears. Quickly struggling to get her arms through the mesh shirt, she raced towards half-court, wiggling

Mr. Crisafi
Seventh grader Bryce Weisser sprints toward her teammates during the dress-up relay.

the boxing glove onto her right hand.  Her feet flew across the gym floor to the ball cap which she placed on her head before darting further to the windbreaker which she threw over her shoulders. Heart pounding, seventh grader Bryce Weisser ran breathlessly around the cone at the far end of the gym and headed towards her teammates.

Of course, this “dress-up” relay race was just one of the events Mr. Jeffrey Cavallo pulled from his proverbial hat to get the school spirit flowing and the gym jumping on Thursday, August 17. From opening multiple padlocks to racing to the other end of the gym to put their shoes on, the students enjoyed Cavallo’s crafty competitions.

According to Cavallo, the Middle School’s dean of students, that was simply the entire point of the pep rally. ‘‘[The idea was] to bring everyone together in a fun and entertaining atmosphere,” said Cavallo. “The main objective was to have fun.”

Mr. Crisafi
Seventh grader Sarah Darby works on the combination lock during one of the games. Darby won the competition and the seventh graders began chanting her name. “I think winning things anytime is a good experience,” she said, “and I think that was pretty cool since everyone was watching me.”

Mission accomplished – not just for the students in the bleachers watching what happened on the gym floor, but also for the participants themselves.“I was nervous, but it was pretty exhilarating, you know, having everyone supporting [me], said Sarah Darby, a seventh grader who won the padlock contest. A student from each grade level had to quickly scan the combinations on the back of three locks that were fastened together in order to unlock them. Sarah won for the seventh grade and the entire grade began chanting her name. “That was a really nice feeling,” she said. [I was] ‘anx-cited.’”

The pep rally started off with Cavallo collecting all of the orange and blue slips given to students for demonstrating Benjamin’s 10 character traits. The grade level with the highest amount received the most points, so the rally ultimately became a competition between the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.

“We wanted to keep [the pep rally] as competitive as possible and keep the students engaged,” said Cavallo.

Seventh grade started off with an early lead and was able to hold of the eighth graders. The sixth grade, which had trouble following Cavallo’s directions at times (when Cavallo asked for any girls wearing watches to line up by grade level, a few sixth-grade boys meandered into the group), finished far behind in last place. For winning the competition, the seventh graders were treated to Italian ice from the Buc Cafe after the event.

It wasn’t just the students that had all the fun, though. The faculty were invited to play the eighth-grade in basketball, a tradition that’s been taking place for many years at the Middle School. Led by eighth-grade science teacher Ms. Sara Featherston, the faculty pummeled the eighth-grade 54-5.

“I think [that] it’s so fun to let the students see a different side of me outside of the classroom,” said Featherston.

Featherston, who played varsity basketball at Blue Valley North High School in Kansas where she led the Mustangs to multiple state championships, definitely demonstrated her athleticism and skills on the court.

“I’ve played all [of] my life, and when I was younger, it always seemed like a boys sport, so it’d always challenge me to want to compete and play, so I just played on travel teams all of my life,” she said.

Even though the eighth graders lost, they still enjoyed the pep rally.“

The events were fun and it was something you wouldn’t normally expect to happen at school,” said eighth grader Jake Zur.

I think [the pep rally] was important so the entire school could get excited for the start of school,” he added. “Most people weren’t excited, but it kind of pumped them up.”