Pep rally critics win tug of war over debated tradition


Courtesy of Tiger Tracks Yearbook.

Assistant principal Kyle Goodwin, who was an English teacher at the time, fights to win the classic tug-of-war against his colleagues in the 2016 Homecoming Pep Rally.

Marie Gabbard, Reporter

Cheering students, marching band playing in the background and bringing the school together through various activities to prep for the homecoming game were once staples of the yearly pep rally. However, it never came this year.

The pep rally gathers everyone together to celebrate school spirit in various ways. There are usually activities like tug of war, music by the marching band and skits from each class. The day of the homecoming game students and staff gather in the main gym at the end of the day giving students the opportunity to leave.

“We had over 800 students who had called out of school and didn’t want to be a part of the pep session, that’s about 25 percent of our student population,” assistant principal Kyle Goodwin said.

Due to the lack of student interest, the student government and administration decided to cancel this semester’s pep rally. Students have conflicting opinions on the decision. One student, senior Taylor Boledovich wishes that the pep rally had not been cancelled.

“It makes us more united,” Boledovich said.“It’s a part of high school culture and taking that away was weird.”

While some students are sad the pep rally is gone many students will not miss it. Other students are happy that the tradition did not take place this year, saying that the potential benefits don’t outweigh the risks.

“Everyone has their backpacks there, it’s uncomfortable and just gets hot,” senior Carolina Harrington said. “In exact terms of being educational, it doesn’t fall into that category.”

Not all teachers supported the decision.

“Some teachers like the nostalgia of pep session, it reminds them of their high school days,” Goodwin said. “It gives more instructional time to classroom teachers who don’t really see the purpose of pep sessions.”

While the pep rally did not take place this time, Goodwin shared that if students express interest in the future it will make a return.

Courtesy of Tiger Tracks Yearbook.
The Pep Rallies put teachers in the spotlight, having them compete in challenges like these in which two teachers would bind themselves together and race other pairs. Pictured in the front are Darcy (left) and Lee (right) Banitt, a duo of husband and wife science teachers who taught at FHS until Lee left in 2017 and Darcy left in 2018.
Courtesy of Tiger Tracks Yearbook.
The student body filled up the stands at outdoor pep rallies, although some took place inside of the main gym. Sitting in the down in the background, a student displays his sign that reads “Another lame pep rally, whoop-dee-doo,” capturing some negative student sentiment towards the event.
Courtesy of Tiger Tracks Yearbook.
The Marching Band typically played the fight song while the student body entered the stadium. That would have been the first time that several students heard the marching band play if they did not attend football games.