Pep rally a success

Caroline Cohn

An energetic atmosphere pervaded Walpole High School on Friday, October 17 as the entire school assembled on Turco Field for the annual pep rally.  Each year, student council organizes a rally on the day preceding the Norwood football game intended to promote a sense of school unity at the beginning of the year.

            Ms. Kerri McMenimen, student council advisor, deemed the rally a success due to an increase in enthusiasm and participation from the students, which has been noticeably absent from previous rallies.  Though this year showed improvement, an underlying attitude of indifference regularly greets WHS pep rallies. Ms. McMenimen credited this year’s improvement to the Senior Class in particular.  “The Senior Class is exemplar pep; I think that had a lot to do with this year’s success,” Ms. McMenimen said.

The rally commenced with members of the school’s various clubs marching onto the field.  The clubs included in the march-the Robo-Rebels, the journalism club, the Green Team, and the Invisible Children-revealed, in part, the diverse interests of Walpole High School’s students. 

            In a broader sense, the clubs’ march was part of a larger effort to involve the entire school rather than underscore athletics.  Taking the focus away from sports always presents a major challenge to student council in organizing the rally.  “It’s hard because we have it before the Norwood football game,” said Ms. McMenimen.  “It’s not a football pep rally; it’s a Walpole High pep rally.”

            Included in this effort towards school unity was a competition between classes that was incorporated into the majority of the events.  Such class oriented events included a water balloon toss, a three-legged race, a field goal kicking contest and a contest for the loudest cheer among the four classes.  The awarding of points to each class by enthusiastic host and vice principal, Ed Connor, added a sense of class spirit to the rally.  Mr. Connor was “topnotch” at the rally and is “always a dependable MC,” said Ms. McMenimen.  The result of the contests found-after Mr. Connor’s generous though somewhat arbitrary bestowal of points-the Senior Class in the lead and the Freshmen Class without any points.  

Continuing the theme of school unity, the teachers and faculty were integrated into the tug-of-war.  The pep band, led by conductor Michael Faulker, was also in attendance, beginning the rally with a traditional playing of the National Anthem.

            However, despite the attempt to place the major emphasis on school unity, sports undoubtedly play a major role at WHS, which was reflected at the pep rally.  The rally featured a tug-of-war with the girls’ soccer team vying against the field hockey team, with the field hockey team eventually prevailing, a cheerleader toss by senior football players, and a speech made by senior football Captain Adam Riegel.  Adam’s speech centered mostly on the upcoming Norwood game, and he urged students to participate in a collaborative effort to wear white clothing in order to contend against Norwood’s plan to wear all black.  The success of Adam’s proposed whiteout at the Norwood game was a testament to the effectiveness of his speech.

            As for next year, Ms. McMenimen says student council “wants to make [the pep rally] feel not as forced for some students, and make it something they want to go to.”  Attempting to encompass the entire student body as well as improve the overall attitude toward the pep rally will continue to be an objective of student council in upcoming years.