The Winter Sports Pep Rally


Rissa Liu

On Jan. 27, UHS students gather in the Big Gym for the Winter Sports Pep Rally. The pep assembly encouraged students to be enthusiastic for upcoming games and bolstered school spirit.

Nikki Piedad, Staff Writer

UHS hosted the Winter Pep Rally in the Big Gym on Friday, Jan. 27, featuring winter sports and a collection of performances from the UHS Pep Squad, Marching Band, Junior Classical League (JCL) and UHS Color Guard. Student leadership organized the pep rally to bolster school spirit at the start of the second semester.

It was the color guard’s first time participating in a pep rally, an opportunity extended to them by ASB Girls’ Sports Commissioner Sydney Gaw. Senior Co-captain Miyako Kato was excited for her team to have the opportunity to gain more recognition around campus.

“Being immersed within the cheering, band music, etcetera as a participating team gave a more exciting feel than just sitting in the stands,” Kato said.

The rally traditionally includes competition between sports captains. This year, student leadership took that as a chance to be creative, introducing table surfing at this rally. Each team laid on the floor, with members lined up right next to each other, while a plastic table was placed overtop of them and a member mounted the table. With at least two standing members stabilizing and pushing the table along the way, the members on the floor had to roll in a conveyor belt fashion to take the “surfing” member above them to the finish line.

“Table surfing was quite chaotic for our team as we didn’t plan much beforehand,” Kato said. “But it was still a good memory overall. I liked how it was a team game, but it felt a bit dangerous without any practice.”

Student dances, a recurring element of UHS pep rallies, included performances from the school’s song and cheer teams as well as JCL. JCL is a club focused on the Latin language and is also responsible for planning the annual Winter Formal, which was held on Feb. 17 this year. Their performance reflected the Studio Ghibli theme of the upcoming dance.

“Dancing with JCL was fun, but it was so loud,” sophomore and JCL member Hannah Kusumo said.

With indoor pep rallies, student leadership must often consider the logistical aspect of having hundreds of students, performers and staff coming together indoors for the event. UHS serves over 2000 students, and getting them all into one building in the midst of preparing for a spirited pep rally means students often struggle to look for friends or find a place to sit, which may detract from their pep rally experience.

“Student leadership does a good job in planning and putting together pep rallies,” Kato said. “I think the most problematic part would be how crowded it gets in the gym, but that would be out of their control.”

Some were more critical of pep rallies in general, feeling as though they are repetitive and not necessarily effective in generating spirit for the sports they showcase. In part, this may be because of UHS’ focus on other aspects of student life.

“I feel like a lot of people are very concentrated in their academics, and the more fun parts of high school . . . [like] pep rallies don’t become as important,” Kato said.

Pep rallies are an enduring part of the high school experience, and though the exact activities change, the main event creates a sense of community among students.

“I think the main takeaway from this pep rally was positive,” Kato said. “I’m glad that our team was able to have the experience to be part of a pep rally, and I hope this tradition [of pep rallies] continues in future years.”