Putting the Pep in Pep Rallies

Extracurricular Activity Members Explain Their Role In Preparations

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photo by Bridget McGirr

Students cheer during the home coming pep rally on Sept. 20. The success of the pep rally was due to students like those in broadcast, who prepared the line up, the scripts and hosted the pep rally. “…Broadcast comes in… and they kind of host the whole pep rally, Evan [Vines] and Ella [Neel] do,” broadcast adviser Anthony Garcia said. “Then our sports director interviews the athletes during that portion to kind of ask about the games that night, and then a lot of our tech students help with kind of setting up the sound system, running the soundboard, the best that they can, in the gym.” 

By Ava Caldwell, Cedar Park High School

As the pep rally ends, pinky fingers are linked together swaying back and forth to the school song. But, what leads up to the success of a pep rally is something that is not well known.

While cheer, Celebrities and band perform at pep rallies, the broadcast team helps prepare the gym, the script and sets up the sound systems.

“I work really closely with Coach King to plan the agenda and coordinate the other groups,” broadcast adviser Anthony Garcia said. “And then broadcast comes in… and they kind of host the whole pep rally, Evan [Vines] and Ella [Neel] do. Then our sports director interviews the athletes during that portion to kind of ask about the games that night, and then a lot of our tech students help with kind of setting up the sound system, running the soundboard, the best that they can, in the gym.”

Before a pep rally is able to happen, Garcia and cheer coach, Nadira King, coordinate the agenda, amount of athletes on the floor, bell schedule, the release of each group and the sound systems in the gym. On the day of the pep rally, all the items have to be in order and in place.

“For [the Homecoming] pep rally we are supposed to be doing a hype video, so we have to reserve, with the district, a projector screen and a projector,” Garcia said. “We gotta make sure the bleachers are up in the gym the day of, we have to make sure the cafeteria tables are up, so no one ends up hanging out in the cafeteria, we gotta make sure doors are unlocked for us to get into the sound system, just a long list of different things to do.”

During the pep rallies, both cheer and the Celebrities showcase performances. The Celebrities learn routines over the summer and clean them for a few weeks leading up to the pep rally.

“We decide what routines we will use based on the team’s strengths,” junior lieutenant Brynn Carr said. “We usually learn five routines at our camp, and only take two to three back based on what the choreographer’s music choice was and how the team executes the choreography.”

Another group that contributes to the entertainment of pep rallies is cheer. Cheer has the role of getting music, planning games, choreographing their own routine, and helping with the agenda. Normally, a choreographed cheer routine will take two to three weeks to create.

“The captains will ask the squad for any skills they want to showcase and then they will choreograph a routine based on these suggestions,” King said. “The goal is to make the skills executed in each pep rally more difficult than the last.”

Another big part of pep rallies is the band engaging the crowd. All of the marching band, including percussion and junior varsity, are included in pep rallies.

“The role of the band in pep rallies is to hype up the crowd through playing metal shop, drumline cadences, and the fight song,” senior drum captain Noah Hedges said.

According to Garcia, these short times in DEN are a great way to bring together the school, hype up the crowd and prepare for the sports that season. It’s also a great way to see all of the different groups of students Cedar Park has to offer, and the hard work they put into their activities.

“I think people need to realize that it’s not just about one group, it’s about a lot of groups and so it’s great to come out and support and get to kinda see a wide variety of our really talented students doing what they love,” Garcia said.

This story was originally published on Wolfpack on September 24, 2019.