Students, staff to celebrate military at USA pep rally


Spirit leader Alyssa Gonzalez and a Prosper first responder hold the American Flag as the National Anthem is sung. The choir joined athletes and coaches on the field last Friday, Aug. 30, to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner." First responders, military members and veterans will be honored at the USA pep rally Friday, Aug. 6 starting at 2:30 p.m.

Isabella Abraham, Feature/Copy Editor

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To honor first-responders, veterans and current military personnel, students and staff will recognize their service at the USA pep rally Friday, Sept. 5, beginning at 3 p.m. This activity marks the last start-of-the-year pep rally as a single high school district.

As many as 30 servicemen and women have registered to attend the pep rally, not including teachers or other staff who have served. Student Council members worked to ensure they receive the best treatment before, after and during the event.

“Student council is providing a small reception for any of our first responders who are coming, just to thank them for their service, and so we can make sure we honor them properly,” Amy Viars, StuCo teacher, said. “We will have guests here at 2:30, have a little bit of a social gathering, and then we’ll show them to their seats on the floor. We are also going to honor them during the pep rally in acknowledging their service, and I know that we are trying to do that as well at the game, so, hopefully, if they decide to come, stay with us at the game, they’ll be honored there as well.”

Spirit leaders Fifi Nwaoba, Alyssa Gonzalez, Collin McDonald and Sam Covert said they plan to keep school spirit high at the rally through interactive games, activities and dance routines.

“For the USA pep rally we felt it would be fun to bring in some friendly competition for the staff, and we’d have them playing the game “Junk in the Trunk,” which is basically when you have to shake ping-pong balls out of an empty tissue box with only your hips,” Fifi Nwaoba said. “You can definitely expect choreographed dance routines from us. I have no doubt about it.”

Beyond the spirit leaders, event planners said class presidents of each grade will also “lead by example,” and compete in various contests with their peers. Those will result in prizes for the winners.

“The class presidents of each class are doing a three-legged race,” Viars said. “Some of the prizes are going to be a $10 pass to anywhere in the cafeteria for lunch and a fast pass to the front of any lunch line, which should be really nice because those lines are long. The teachers just love the fact they get to participate.”
Student leadership members said they have taken into account the ideas of the student body and have discontinued certain customs students might have expected to see, while still maintaining fan favorites.

“The traditions we will continue are the ‘I Believe’ chant and the ‘Spirit in my Cup’ chant,” spirit leader Alyssa Gonzalez said. “Although one we have decided to discard is the ‘Roller Coaster,’ we do have another activity very similar that will make up for that loss.”

Through the creation of new replacement chants and games, spirit leaders hope to leave their own impression on future pep rallies.

“We call it ‘Rolling with the Punches,'” Nwaoba said. “Basically the four of us would face each side (sophomore, junior, senior and freshman), and we would punch from left to right, left to right, and they would follow our punches (as if they were being punched), and then at the very end we punch up, and everyone would fall back into their seats.”

After some students have shown a lack in participation, Nwaoba says her ultimate goal is to restore the high energy and enthusiasm of the crowd.

“I think for all four of us the most important thing is to make sure the crowd is involved and interested in what we’re doing on the floor,” Nwaoba said. “Getting a huge group of teenagers interested in something at the same time isn’t the easiest task, but one thing we all have in common is that we love to dance. We just want to make sure they’re up on their feet because they enjoy our performance as spirit leaders.”

Faculty members said they want to encourage students to take the time to reflect before the pep rally on how the school has impacted them and to appreciate the present moment, with all of the new changes heading the district’s way.

“I hope that kids are excited about their school,” Viars said. “This is our last year to be all in one, and I think we need to embrace that we are alone, regardless of what’s going to happen afterwards. We’re all one – one town, one city – so I’m hoping that it will kind of encourage a little more participation in the school spirit that we have and really be thankful for what we do have here.”

Hard work and hours spent preparing will be worth it, according to Gonzalez, if the spirit leaders can engage the student body and celebrate the last time the Prosper Eagles will soar solo.

“Personally I hope to achieve a different atmosphere at PHS with this pep rally,” Gonzalez said. “For these past years our spirit has gone down, and we hope to bring that back. We really do want to give school that happiness and spirit we used to have. At the end of the day, we hope the students will find it contagious. For the rest of the year, I expect the pep rallies to be extraordinary and unforgettable. This is our last year as one high school, and it’s going to be the best year.”


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