As the school year approaches the close of the first quarter, many students get excited for a fun break from regular school life, and pep rallies are the perfect opportunity to bond as a school community. Although meant to be a fun activity, the most recent pep rally was a test of the student body’s ability to be civil and polite to each other, since issues have arisen in the past that needed to be addressed. Last year, the second pep rally was cancelled due to conduct at the first. It became dangerous as the crowd repeatedly ran onto the gym. According to Mr. Jozokos, each year, the popular chant telling freshmen to go home “has gotten louder, until the point last year where it just was not nice.” This year, he hoped for the best behavior from students, but was not sure what to expect since large crowds of high schoolers are easily excitable. He was impressed by the improvement from the pep rally last year and the one last month, noting that he saw “a huge difference” in the behavior of the crowd. This pep rally was safer than last year, as well as more positive between the classes, which meant that it ran smoothly.
On the other hand, many students miss the competitive spirit of past pep rallies. Kaitlyn Boles, a junior, “noticed that there was a lot less cheering this year, [and that] the events that we had were less competitive between the classes. It helped us come together as a school more, but it limited us from coming together as a class.” Although it is important to be kind to the other classes, many students miss the playful rivalry that usually occurs at pep rallies. This competitive spirit can still happen without being unkind to freshmen, and it is a popular opinion that the best way to have positive competitive energy is based on the games played by the classes. Joey Znoj, a freshman “was hoping for some different games that would be more competitive, like basketball or soccer.” He thought that the pep rally was fun, but the games had not been what he expected. A widespread opinion was that although family feud was a good idea, it was a little too slow and hard to follow for it to be competitive. Other games that were played at pep rallies in the past such as knock out are fairly inclusive but also entertaining. With the energy of pep rallies at BHS, not all games meet the high demand for excitement from the crowd.
Another important aspect of the pep rallies that was missed this year were the more traditional parts of BHS pep rallies. Starting as a freshman and experiencing every pep rally leaves a lasting impression, and many students like the activities that happen every year. Cam Nelson, a senior, says that “most of the fun games and traditions were taken away, like tug of war. Those should be brought back.” As seniors who will be moving into new parts of their lives soon, it is understandable to want a more traditional pep rally, with games such as tug of war that create healthy competition. These traditions are fun, but, as seen by last year’s pep rally, sometimes they can get out of hand.
It appears that in order for the pep rallies to run smoothly and be fun, there has to be a compromise between civil behavior and traditional competition. Hopefully, the next pep rally will continue to show the good qualities of the BHS community that Mr. Jozokos and the school are so proud of.