HOCO Pep Rally kicks off fun-filled weekend

Hoco Pep Rally 2021

Photo by: Nikki Abbas
Juniors having a blast at the hoco pep rally.

As Spirit Week came to a close on Friday, October 1, 2021, students now looked the festivities of Homecoming Weekend. Kicking off the excitement, Midlo held its second pep rally of the year in F.W. Poates Stadium, featuring freshmen in purple, sophomores in red, juniors in black and seniors in their makeshift white togas. With underclassmen now having their first pep rally experience under their belt, all of the classes came prepared to battle for the highly coveted spirit stick.

Before the events began, music blared as the Class of 2022, the victors of the school year’s first pep rally, rushed into the stands, showing off their signature senior togas and gold crown that have come to represent a long-lasting tradition at the Homecoming Pep Rallies. Some of the upperclassman even personalized their crowns, adding glitter and painted letters to show off their school spirit.

Following the grand entrance, each of the individual classes settled into the stands to await the first activity, which was the announcement of the denim drive winner. For each pep rally, the student class officers work to host a school-wide community service project where the class who collects the most items receives points at the event. As for this time around,  the freshman class was awarded the crucial points, which put them closer to securing the spirit stick.

Now, it was time for the action to begin. For the first game of the afternoon, Midlo’s Champions Club, an organization that partners with the Special Education Program, took to the field. Here, teams were tasked with knocking over as many cones as they could before the time ran out. 

Freshmen battle hard during the tug of war competition. (Photo by: Lauren Cassano)

To follow, classes then competed in a high-stakes match of tug-of-war. Not only would this display the fierce determination and strength of each class, but it also sparked a sense of competitiveness that continued on for the remainder of the pep rally. The first match consisted of the senior and sophomore classes squaring off. After some resistance, the seniors were able to dismiss the sophomores and head into the championship round. Next up were the juniors and freshman, and without a second thought, the juniors dismantled the formation of the incoming class and move on to the next round where they would go head-t0-head with the seniors. Despite their efforts, the juniors admitted defeat and gave way to a class of 2022 coming on top. The match for third place concluded in a quick sophomore victory, leaving the freshman last at this event.

“The energy in the senior section during the final tug of war match made it really fun to watch,” senior Amel Kaid said. 

The Varsity Cheerleaders perform at the Homecoming Pep Rally. (Photo by: Nikki Abbas)

Following this event, the cheerleaders made their way to the field where they gave an impressive performance.

“I look forward to pep rallies every season. Everyone is in a great mood and you can’t help but have a good time,” junior cheerleader Marissa Jennings said. 

At the halfway mark of the event, the time came to recognize the 2021 Homecoming King. The Trojan Marching Band lined the field as the nominees of all grade levels walked through while their names were announced for all to hear. After a long silence filled with anticipation, students erupted in cheers as senior Matthew Babb was crowned by Principal Dr. Shawn Abel

After the crowning ceremony, the Trojanette dance team partnered with the varsity football team, scheduled to take the field later that night during the Homecoming Football Game against the Cosby Titans, for a special co-ed routine. Each dancer sported classic away-game jerseys, matching the number of one of the players on the field. The energetic music filled the air, causing the entire student section to dance along. 

Shortly after the performance, a team from each class competed in an intense obstacle course race. There were four hand-offs all around the track, with each runner having to go through a different challenge. As the race began, the junior and senior runners took the lead, leaving the underclassmen scurrying behind. After the first hand-off, runners had to hop on one leg. The juniors lost a lot of ground while the seniors remained strong in the front. The freshman and sophomore runners both passed the junior class. As the runners made their way around the track, the juniors made a comeback and advanced forward to second place. As the classes crossed the line, the seniors were first, followed by the juniors, freshman and then the sophomores.

The Football and Dance teams perform their routine at the Hoco Pep Rally. (Photo by: Kyle Reeder)

Signaling the end of the event, the cheerleaders grouped together on the track to call out the well-known Victory Chant that measures each class’s school spirit. The Seniors came out on top with the juniors following close behind. In third and fourth were the sophomores and freshmen respectively. 

As the judges made their final tallies, seniors collectively raised their pointer fingers in the air, depicting a number one, that showed they deserved the win. In the end, the Class of 2022 secured the Pep Rally win once again. The juniors came in second, followed by the freshman in third, and the sophomores rounding it out in last place. At the sound of their class being called, the seniors exploded from the student section to storm the field, throwing their crowns into the air along the way. 

“I’m disappointed we didn’t do better as a group, but I know we will improve next time,” sophomore Leah Brooks said.

The Homecoming Pep Rally represented not only a successful feat for the senior class but also a fun way to jump-start an exciting series of events to come later that evening. “The Pep Rally was a great way to start off Homecoming weekend,” junior Tanner Wood said.