Pep rally promotes ‘connection’, ‘community’ among athletes, students


Photo credit: Ava Rothenberg

The Archer panther performs at the pep rally held in dining hall. The pep rally was held Nov. 20 for all fall sport athletes.

During Archer’s first-ever pep rally, freshman Helena Kaminski and her fellow JV volleyball players were pulled into the hallway and behind the makeshift stage by Assistant Athletic Director Amelia Mathis. Mathis “hyped up” the players and their season before introducing them. When the athletes ran on stage, they were greeted by cheers from students and faculty.

The pep rally was held during lunch on Nov. 20, and all students were invited to attend. There, student body president Grace Wilson asked the athletes questions about their season. The team captains also said what they were most proud of. 

“We were all saying the highlights of our season and what we enjoyed most, and that we were thankful to have such a great group of girls,” freshman tennis player Zoe Woolenberg said.

The pep rally celebrated nine sports teams, and the Panther participated in a choreographed dance with four juniors.

One of our goals this year, or my goals this year, in the Athletic Department is to connect our teams with the community,” Athletic Director Kim Smith said.

Mathis was the organizer for the pep rally and connected with students and faculty to make the event special.

“Coach Mathis was the one who organized the entire pep rally,” Smith said. “Mathis is connected to student council, so she empowered class deans, and she coordinated and worked with Ms. Locke to create the dances during the Pep Rally.”

Making athletes and teams more visible was also a motivator for the pep rally.

“We thought it would be a great way to build enthusiasm for sports, especially for our off-campus teams,” Smith said. “A lot of our students don’t get to see them train on campus or get to see them compete.”

Woolenberg said the pep rally made her feel “valued” as an Archer athlete.

“I thought it was really nice to be surrounded by everyone, and not only share our teams highlights of the season, but to see others in different sports as well,” Woolenberg said.

One of Smith’s goals is bringing the school together to acknowledge student athletes. This ties in with this school year’s theme of connection.

“When [students] see [athletes] in the hallway, they can congratulate them or wish them good luck in their upcoming competitions,” Smith said.

Mathis said there are plans for future pep rallies, though she is not sure what form they will take.