Pep rally minus the pep

CHS pep rallies lack participation

September 13, 2016


Coppell High School Lariettes perform a dance routine during the pep rally on Friday morning. Students engage in pep rally activities and cheer on the girls on in preparation for the football game against Allen.
Chelsea Banks
Coppell High School Lariettes perform a dance routine during the pep rally on Friday morning. Students engage in pep rally activities and cheer on the girls on in preparation for the football game against Allen.

“C-O-P-P-E-L-L, we are Cowboys hear us yell!”


Coppell High School assistant principal Sean Bagley bellows in his microphone waiting for the crowd to interrupt into cheer, screaming for their class. Instead, most of the students sit still as the Plunger Boy looms, “Come on guys. Let’s show some school spirit.”

But hardly any school spirit hangs in the air. It has waned from previous years, as the student body seems less cohesive than ever.

Like most other high schools, it is a CHS tradition to have a pep rally the day of home football games. Senior girls dress in their overalls and the crowd usually erupts into cheers as they realize that not only is this Friday, but it is officially Football Friday.

This situation was ironic since CHS is known for its student section, its deafening cheers and its crowded bleachers.

In fact, the silence makes it harder for for some performers, such as cheerleaders, to really work to their full potential.

“Kids just don’t seem into pep rallies anymore so that makes my job a bit harder,” CHS varsity cheerleader Mackenzie Dennis said. “I’m supposed to get everyone excited but they just kind of ignore us and that’s a bit discouraging. Either way I still try to do my best at all times to make the pep rallies more fun.”

But even though Dennis struggles to get kids involved in the pep rallies, she still enjoys performing with her team.

“Even if the students aren’t super involved in the pep rallies, I still enjoy them and wouldn’t want them to be cancelled,” Dennis said.

Dennis is not the only one who enjoys performing in the pep rallies despite the lack of participation. Junior John Coffee, a front ensemble captain for band, also enjoys his role in the pep rallies.

“I think the [pep rallies] are stupid, but they should not be canceled because of the performances. The purpose of the pep rally is a way to get rallied before the game, but that purpose is gone,” Coffee said. “Now it’s just for the performances, like the girl singing the National Anthem, the band and Lariettes. The old culture of the pep rally is gone.”

Coffee’s views over the change of culture are mimicked by many students and teacher, who feel as though the pep rallies are merely a performance and do not really rile up students for CHS’s upcoming football game

A teacher that openly expresses his views over this issue is International Baccalaureate History of the Americas teacher Kyle Dutton.

Dutton has been a teacher at CHS for 20 years and has been to pep rallies since the 1990s. He says he has noticed a change in the dynamic from former pep rallies.

“In the 20 plus years I’ve been here, all the performers have been outstanding,” Dutton said. “Drill team, cheerleaders, the band, Silver Spurs, are all interesting and demonstrate the excellence of the organizations and the hard work they put into this. But the general attitude of the students is one of simply sitting and being entertained. They are not really, as a whole, not over-enthusiastic in participating.”

And this has been the case for many pep rallies. A lot of people believe that the spirit has been lost in school because of individualism and how students do not really exemplify the “We Are One” idea. The idea of individual has emerged a lot of times for the desire of kids to earn the best grade (GPA).

High school is now being used as a stepping stone for college and life; something that is looked at as a time to push yourself ahead, not an experience in your life that you can always turn back to.

This form of individualism has caused the school to reiterate our idea of being united as one. But the school had not really succeeded as many students bring work or ditch pep rallies as a time to study and catch up on work.

However, this might not be the only case. Students could not partake in the pep rallies because of the early mornings, since many students are tired, or simply the lack of energy that students feel like they should display in order to be perceived as cool.

Whatever the issue is the idea of school spirit has gone down. Maybe the school will be involved if all of the pep rallies are moved into the indoor arena since the heat could be a problem. Maybe the entrancing performances will allow a rise in school spirit. Or maybe the pep rally could be after school since it could disrupt classes and cause chaos.

But hopefully people will begin to show school spirit soon.


To contact, Farah can be found at [email protected] or @farahmerchant_ on Twitter.


2 Responses to “Pep rally minus the pep”

  1. Meha Srivastav on September 13th, 2016 2:45 pm

    Goodddd story Farah!

  2. Alex Watson on September 13th, 2016 4:13 pm

    The issue is that many students see pep rallies as a waste of time as it only benefits a handful of individuals. Not all students enjoy sports or even go to games, so building “school spirit” for such an event becomes pointless as certain groups on a pedestal to be adored without ever having to reciprocate that sentiment to other groups. The fact is, student individualism has been fostered to such an extent that students become too wrapped up in their own lives to care what goes on at a game they are mostly removed from. That’s not a bad thing though. It means students have motivation and purpose. However, if pep rallies and school spirit are important enough to sustain then they must be more inclusive. The school has plenty of other teams (Volleyball, Soccer, AcDec, Golf, Choir, etc.) which fare well, if not far better than, that of football and they deserve to be recognized. If the students in those groups feel the spirit they put out won’t be reciprocated in any way, then they simply won’t show spirit because it proves to be a waste of energy and time that could be spent furthering one’s own interests.

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