Missing: Pep in Pep Rallies


Joshua Madden, Staff Writer

There has been an elephant in the room at 4500 Memorial Drive for about as long as I’ve been here; people are not as excited about going to St. Thomas sporting events as they used to be. It’s sad to see and hard to admit, but the amount of school spirit has dwindled even with the success of our sports teams. This is manifested in multiple scenarios, but most so in our pep rallies.
Pep rallies used to be a staple of coming to St. Thomas, and the activities planned within appealed to everyone and kept people excited and interested. Though pep rallies this year have been similar in form to years past, they lack the originality and zeal that used to come with it. The pep rally for the Episcopal game was especially lackluster and set the tone of sub-par performance from our Eagle Guard this year. I enjoyed the touchdown celebrations, but that probably took no time, effort, or cost at all. The lack of preparation and organization was apparent right from the start and was saved by the comedy and creativity of other students.

The homecoming pep rally was even worse. The student body was not into the pep rally at all, as the buzz around homecoming has died down in recent years as well. I am a huge fan of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and thoroughly enjoyed Coach Davis’ rendition of his routine, but this pep rally will stick with me forever. Another pep rally of relying on others to provide laughs and cheers. The Eagle Guard was not largely involved in pumping up the crowd, and most students did not help this effort at all. To add insult to injury, a member of Eagle Guard lead the classic “where ya from?” chant to end the pep rally. He rounded Reckling Gymnasium a total of 9 times, like a cringe-worthy NASCAR race. I’ve always been a fan and proud contributor to this chant, but 9 times is past the limit of where I thought it could go.
I suppose the declining quality of pep rallies could have many contributing factors, mainly the increasing laziness and shift of interests of our generation. That being said, I think that school spirit and pride of being a student here really tie these all together, and make being a fan both unpopular and not as fun as it used to be. The remedy to this and the overlying problem requires an increased interest in school activities from the students and Eagle Guard alike. As a student body, the burden really falls on us. The paramount thing that can out-do any efforts of small groups like Eagle Guard is attendance and active participation from the students, all 750 strong.
I believe pep rallies will be restored to their former glory if they are based on a relevant event, planned, executed and participated in accordingly.