Putting the Pep in Pep Rally

The annual Homecoming pep rally took place on Friday, Oct. 8.


Laney Brosam

Senior Dreyah Rutherford introduces herself to the elementary students at the pep assembly. Rutherford has been in cheer for one year.

Eleanor McCalla

For the first time in two years, the students at AHS assembled together for a true homecoming pep rally on Friday, Oct. 8 at 12:13 p.m. in the high school gym. The rally highlighted the diverse talents of the students at AHS, including musical performances, dancing, and cheering.

The rally began with the show choir performing their debut of “Son Of Man” with a solo from senior Hunter Weppler. It was their first time singing the piece with multiple instruments, which included a drum set, an electric guitar, a synthesizer, a tambourine, and a keyboard. Senior Alex Sampson described the experience as “weird,” because of the acoustics of the gym.

After this performance, the coronation took place. Each king and queen candidate was introduced and walked to the stage by their parents or family members. Former king Craig Alan Becker, along with former queen Tessa Grooms, crowned the new royalty. The new homecoming king was Lee Houser, and the queen was Chaylei Carey.

After the coronation, the gym was rearranged for the pep rally. One tradition at the coronation designed to display the diversity at AHS is a dance done by students with Chuukese heritage. This year, the Hula dance was performed by Erinchina Mark, Chensia Narios, Nerensia Narios, Helena Buliche, and Kesarina Esa. “I think it’s important to include things [in the pep rally] such as our Hula dancing,” Mark said. “It’s for the fun of it, and to show our culture to those who don’t know about it.”

Pullquote Photo

Sometimes, it feels like the cheerleaders are overlooked and underappreciated, but this really shines a light on us and gives us a chance to show what we can do.”

— Taliya Jamess

Next, the cheerleaders did a few cheers, including Pump It Up and Battle Cry. Senior Taliya James celebrated her last pep rally this year as Head Cheer Capitan. “I think the pep rally brings [the cheerleaders] together,” James said. “Sometimes, it feels like the cheerleaders are overlooked and underappreciated, but this really shines a light on us and gives us a chance to show what we can do.”

The band performed AHS’s fight song “Loyalty,” and then each fall sports coach came up and spoke about how the season is going for the teams. First, the cross-country coach Daniel Vargason got everyone pumped up with slow-clap applause and an overview of the season, and then volleyball coach Michelle Blake gave an update on their team. Finally, head football coach Joe Brummer talked about how the football team was doing, finishing with another audience-engaging ovation resembling the beginning of “We Will Rock You” by Queen.

In addition to the pep rally, the band, cheerleaders, and senior football players went down to the Trojan Bowl to hold assemblies with Schuler and Washington elementary school students earlier in the day. James said, “I think it definitely shows that we aren’t just ‘high school cheerleaders,’ but rather a team that encourages all of the student body, young and old.”