2015 Homecoming Pep Rally: Hit or Miss?

DMAE hosted a Pep Rally on October 23, 2015, with the purpose of encouraging an atmosphere of unity on campus for the upcoming Homecoming football game.

“We purposely organized the event to be a fun day filled with Raider Pride and school spirit,” Assistant Principal Joseph Armental said.

The idea of holding a Pep Rally again on the DMAE campus first came from students and the administration. The last time DMAE had a Pep Rally was four years ago, and it was held as an assembly. Mr. Armental felt that it was “good, but nothing compared to this year’s.”

This year’s event was hosted by Senior Josh Castillo and Junior Stefano Castro, and was held on an outdoor stage on the front lawn. The duo called every fall sports team up to the stage. Once the crowd cheered for the athletes, students from each grade were called up to the stage to compete in various games such as the doughnut eating contest and the dance contest.  

Photo: Yume Murphy

Senior Melody Magly thought this event was particularly significant.

“The Pep Rally was a great way to get the school together and cheer for our Raiders,” Melody said.

Sophomore Neker Soria found it to be a good time. He enjoyed the marching band’s performance and how the activities on the stage made him laugh.

Others reflected positively on how the event unified both schools.

“I thought the Pep Rally was a great show of diversity because of the various activities and the cooperation from both sides,” junior Justin Byfield said.

Junior Vanessa Wolosz added, “For the first Pep Rally we had in awhile, it was impressive.”

However, not everyone was satisfied. Sophomore Chris Kim thought that the Pep Rally was crowded with little space. The event’s length was also criticized for its brevity, since it ended almost an hour earlier than anticipated.

“It felt like it was unplanned and very quick. It should have been either on the soccer or football fields instead of the front lawn to have more of a resemblance to an actual Pep Rally,” sophomore Christine Chung said. “It was a good start, but it could have been better.”

Marching Band Director Dr. Gary Hollander also had reservations. “From the band perspective, I would have changed the performance location. We would be facing the stage instead of being placed to the side,” Dr. Hollander said.

Others found the main fault to be some students’ apathy. Freshman Sarah Irfan, for example, liked the Pep Rally and what it had to offer but believed freshmen could have been more enthusiastic. As junior Jeanpiere Orozco put it, “The beginning was fun, but it got progressively boring. People stopped caring and there weren’t enough activities.”

According to emcee Josh, the greatest struggle he faced was having to juggle the four grades at once and find ways to improvise from a script in order to take up time; he also had to rush in some aspects in order to fit certain activities into the time limit. However, he still thought the rally went well and that people enjoyed themselves.

“At the end of the day, we kept the heartbeat running, and if I took a little bit of extra time to get everyone engaged to have some fun, so be it,” Josh said.

Though the event was anything but flawless, Mr. Armental believed that it displayed a unified expression of Raider Pride.

“I loved the sea of maroon and white. The senior class really got into it with signs and dancing,” Mr. Armental said. “There are not too many times we have the opportunity to have almost 1,100 students all having a great time for the same cause. It was a memorable day for many.”

After a prolonged absence at DMAE, the Pep Rally is back and here to stay.