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The Round Table

Spirit Week brings more excitement for Homecoming

The crowd roars. Seniors yell at the top of their lungs, cheering on the students in their class competing against lowerclassmen. Orange and black fills the stadium as the entire school population gathers together to express the one thing all students have in common – pride in their school.

The pep rally has long been an iconic aspect of high schools across the country, gathering students together to show their spirit. It has been confirmed, however, that Middletown High School won’t be organizing a conventional pep rally this year, and will forgo the tradition.

Pep rallies are traditionally held the Friday of the homecoming football game, which is also the day before the homecoming dance. They are meant to pump up players and students alike for the upcoming festivities and in the past have included relay races, pie eating contests, and other competitions between classes.

These rallies are so anticipated each year that students’ excitement gets crushed when or if they’re cancelled, as in previous years, due to unforeseeable circumstances like rain or other bad weather.

“We had, for the last four years, scheduled a pep rally for homecoming week, and involved a lot of people – teachers, students, the band, the cheerleaders, the dance line – and three out of the four years it has been cancelled because of weather,” said MHS principal, Lee Jeffrey.

“The idea is, ‘Well, let’s try and reschedule’, but then we were never able to reschedule it and it lost its momentum. Even the kids weren’t inclined to say, ‘Ok, let’s do this,’” Jeffrey added. She pointed out that as the pep rallies that were supposed to happen over the years got pushed to later dates, students lost enthusiasm for the event.

Jeffrey has been working in conjunction with the Student Government Association at MHS to find a way to still get students excited about the homecoming game without holding an actual pep rally.

As a result, the week leading up to the homecoming game has been named “spirit week,” and will include different festivities, competitions, and themes each day.

Starting on Oct. 13, this week will have “dress-up days” for each day that are meant to unify the student body by having specific dress-up themes for students to take part in. Monday is “Movie Character Monday,” in which students can dress up as their favorite movie character; Tuesday is “Camo Tuesday,” where students can dress up in camouflage apparel; Wednesday is “Way Back Wednesday,” in which students recall the style of past eras; and Thursday is “Color Day,” where each class has a different color and students can represent their class by wearing it.

Other festivities throughout the week include “minute-to-win-it” challenges, in which students from each class compete in various challenges that they have 60 seconds to complete. Other events held during the week will be spirit link competitions, where students from each class purchase spirit links, and the class with the most links at the end of the week receives money from the SGA, and carnival games, where students can take part in mini games like ring tosses and corn hole. The money raised from the event will go to a brain cancer foundation. Another fundraiser that will be held allows students to pay to acquire duct tape in order to tape Principal Jeffrey to the wall. Advisors will ultimately be the ones doing the taping, and money raised will go to a muscular dystrophy foundation.

There will also be a door decorating contest, a canned food drive, a duct tape fashion show, and a staff contest in which departments compete against each other to make the most unique duct tape creation. The reward is that the department’s staff members get to leave school at 2:30 on Oct. 31 to start their weekend early, as opposed to staying until 2:45, as is usually required.

All games, competitions and opportunities to purchase spirit links or duct tape will be available at each lunch shift throughout the week.

At the week’s end, however, homecoming preparations begin.

The MHS varsity football team will be playing Urbana for the homecoming game, in which many Middletown alumni, including football players, cheerleaders, marching band members and dance line members from the past come to relive old memories of “Friday night lights.”

As for the dance, the theme this year is “Enchanted Night.” Tickets are $20.00, and there will be free snacks available, as well as a photo booth where students can get as many pictures taken as they want, all for free.

SGA advisor Tammy Barlow said that she believes holding week-long festivities “gives more school spirit,” as opposed to trying for a pep rally and then being let down if weather or other circumstances prevent it from happening.

Time will tell if students prefer this new method of promoting school spirit and will be eager to reproduce it in the future, or if “spirit week” will be a failed experiment and students will prefer to take a chance on a rally.

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Eva Tooley
Eva Tooley, Round Table Media Executive Editor

Since her sophomore year when she took her first journalism class, Eva Tooley has been infatuated with the field of journalism. Since then, she’s taken several higher level journalism classes, as well as several publication classes. When she graduates in the coming spring, she will have completed Journalism IV and Publications V. Outside of the classroom, Tooley enjoys playing piano, reading Stephen King novels, and enjoying the company of her friends and family. She intends to pursue a degree in journalism at a four-year university, and hopefully write for Rolling Stone magazine one day.

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Spirit Week brings more excitement for Homecoming