Lauren Mallett also contributed to this article.
After taking last year off, the annual tradition of Pep Rally is back at Malden High!
As always, the National Honors Society (NHS) organized this year’s Spirit Week and Pep Rally, the latter of which took place on Wednesday, November 24th.
Students began filing into the gym Wednesday morning. Apprehensive freshmen and sophomores searched for familiar faces in the crowd while juniors and seniors quickly found their friends among the chaos. Usually, before the festivities start, people would stop by the cafeteria to get their faces painted or airbrushed by members of the Art Department, but due to safety concerns with COVID, they opted out this year.
The first event was the preliminary volleyball game, which began around 8:15. The requirement was that there had to be eight players on a team, with four girls and four boys. For this first round, the freshmen went against the seniors. After that, the juniors against the sophomores. After the consolation rounds and finals, the seniors came on top for volleyball, with juniors, freshmen, and sophomores following in that order.
After volleyball came tug-of-war, played in the same way with seniors versus freshmen and juniors versus sophomores in the preliminary round. The seniors won against the freshmen, and the juniors managed to beat the sophomores in a close game.
At this time, the stands began filling up relatively fast as the rest of the school entered the gym. For some students, this was their first time attending a large school event, let alone Pep Rally, but luckily there were NHS members present to show students in the right direction.
At approximately 9:30, Principal Chris Mastrangelo came on the microphone to welcome everyone to Pep Rally and introduced the MHS Chorus for the singing of the National Anthem. Next, the entire school observed a moment of silence, followed by a performance from the band.
Their performance consisted of a crowd-pleasing drum solo and renditions of “Get Ready For This”, the Fox Sports theme song, “Yeah!”, “Trumpets”, “Jaws”, “Cheerleader”, “Eye of the Tiger, “Seven Nation Army”, “Mission Impossible” and “Mexican Hat Dance” all throughout the rest of the day. Band President Mica Avellan expressed that her leadership position this year made her “last pep rally much more memorable.” To be able to see “the band work many long hours and finally be able to perform in front of the school,” sounding as good as they did, brought her “so much joy.”
Then came the iconic Step Team, sporting matching maroon velvet tracksuits and white sneakers. The crowd roared during their performance, showing just how popular the team is at school events. Step Team Captain and Senior Micaela Henry said that she “was happy to perform again” after being separated as a team last year. Reflecting on their performance, it was “very rewarding to build a great team of girls that worked hard” to do their best. The performance ended with a routine accompanied by the band playing Lil Nas X’s “Industry Baby”.
After the Step Team finished, the MHS Cheerleading Team set up their mats to perform a routine of their own, accompanied by the Golden Tornados Football Team. The two teams joined together for a lighthearted and exciting show, started by a fake game of football. Then they did some signature cheer lifts, with some of the football players acting as flyers, getting lifted high into the air. They were set down gently and each member of the groups did a variety of flips, from cartwheels to back tucks. Students roared with laughter as they watched the players perform.
The cheerleaders then formed two lines, creating a path for the football team to run through, as Math Teacher Evan Mauser introduced the players by grade. They huddled into a group and chanted one of their pre-game rituals in preparation for the next day's annual Thanksgiving game against Medford. Afterwards, the team stepped aside to allow the cheerleaders to perform a dance routine to “Woman” by Doja Cat, which was met by a large show of support.
Just after the cheerleaders and football team wrapped up, Senior Ethan Heon, surrounded by his teammates, promposed to Karen Rivera, Managing Editor of The Blue and Gold. She said yes and the whole room shook with excitement, friends and students from all grades cheering and applauding.
Once the room settled, the spirit teams got back into the competition, continuing with the basketball free throw challenge. Each of the grades had to shoot as many free throws as they could into their respective baskets. Each team gave their best and soon the game was over, ending with a three way tie between the seniors, juniors and sophomores.
Coming off the disappointing tie, they moved onto the push-up competition. Typically this event is a pull-up competition, but due to unforeseen circumstances, everyone quickly shifted gears and prepared the competitors to do push ups. Still, the teams pushed on. In the end, seniors won this event, with Senior Sam Ortega doing 68 push-ups and Linda Le beating the record of 20.
After the push-ups came the longest awaited event: the human pyramid. Once again, the seniors walked away with a victory. Then came the under-over event, which was won by the freshmen class, then the seniors, sophomores, and juniors in last.
At the end of the day, the total points were tallied up between the event competitions and participation in Spirit Week challenges. The final scores were as follows; Seniors in first place with 47 points, juniors in second with 33.5 points, sophomores in third with 26.5 points and freshmen in last place with 24 points.