On the flip side: Freshman Academy’s inaugural pep rally


Ella Ridge

Football players rush into the gymatorium, students as students cheer.

Ella Ridge, Reporter

On Friday, Sept. 27, the Freshman Academy held the building’s first-ever Pep Rally to hype up and build the student’s excitement for the homecoming game on Sept. 28.

Students and teachers began to pack the gymatorium with their period 8 class around 2:15 PM. Assistant Principal and Head of the pep rally Ryan Glowacz, created the itinerary loaded with fun activities for the hour.

Years prior at the Varsity Campus, students had to pay for a ticket to get into the pep rally. This year, both Freshman and Varsity Campus’ pep rallies were free! According to Glowacz, “The pep rally was free at both locations because there was enough room to invite the entire school to the pep rally, in the past, there was not.”

The event started off with the introduction of the academic center and freshman fall sports teams. Each team dramatically burst through the doors of the gymnasium and ran onto the center of the court as the roaring bleachers clapped, cheered, and screamed out players’ names.

Ella Ridge
Host Brett Nishibayashi pumps up the crowd.

Next on the agenda was the introduction of the academic center and freshman Homecoming Court. Host Brett Nishibayashi pumped the students up before announcing the Princes and Princesses.

Nishibayashi, who has been the honorary host of the annual pep rally for many years, said this one was a bit different than years past because “It’s a different kind of pressure to entertain a bunch of new kids than it is with the older ones who are more familiar with me.”

Freshman Madelyn Feliciano (Div. 305) said, “I liked how suspenseful things got before they announced who won Homecoming Court for the freshman.”

The rally ended with a White Castle eating contest. Freshman Academy teachers Brad Engel, Matthew Render, James Novak, and Chad Nishibayashi competed to see who could devour all four boxes of sliders the fastest. Engel successfully inhaled all four boxes the quickest and was pronounced The Cheeseburger Champion.

Shortly after winning, Engel exclaimed, “I’ve got the true heart of a champion.” Student of Engel’s, Feliciano, said, “I was rooting for my English teacher, Mr. Engel and was happy to see him win.”

At 3 PM, teachers dismissed their students class by class. Each student left the building with a smile on their face as they bled the colors blue and white. They officially felt prepared for the big dance Saturday evening.

Brett Nishibayashi said, “By far my favorite part is the energy that is generated in the building. It’s palpable and tangible. You can feel it. I love the spirit and unity that are on display. Easily one of my favorite things about Taft.”

Although the pep rallies were split between the two campuses, all students were able to experience the joys of a Taft pep rally.