THS Pep Rally Unifies and Excites


The boys football team during Pep Rally

The annual Pep Rally took place last Friday, and it was just the event Tenafly High needed. With the school’s marching band amping up the crowd and the cheerleaders welcoming the students as they swarmed into the gym, the entire student body prepared for a thrilling school bonding experience.

As the bleachers filled, a wave of black and orange settled. This year, every student and staff member was given a t-shirt with the words “TIGER PRIDE” bolded in orange. “The T-shirts give everybody, no matter what they do, a connection to the school,” said Mr. Carollo, the athletic director of THS.

The first performance was the marching band and their music set. “We do something called band camp, [where] the students practice all day for eight days before school starts,” said Mr. Jacobetz, the marching band director. “We start preparing our marching band show, which ends up translating to [what is played at] the pep rally.” The band belted out impressive tunes, from honoring the National Anthem as everyone saluted the flag to current pop songs that got the crowd shouting and moving.

THS Cheerleaders

Then the main event came: the demonstration of the fall sports teams and their “Tiger Pride.” Teams came out, one by one, competing to prove that their team had the most spirit. Notable moments include the girls’ soccer presentation with Izzy Perez (’19) in her inflatable orange suit with a tiger head, the astounding acrobatics act performed by the girl’s volleyball team, and the moving and unifying Iceland Skol Viking Clap demonstrated by the boys’ soccer team.

The penultimate event was something new to the pep rally: the Student vs. Staff Basketball Game. Students teamed up to take on their teachers in a friendly, yet extremely competitive, game of basketball where teachers demonstrated their impressive skills, stealing the ball from students and sinking shots left and right. Students cheered for their fellow classmates and supported them as they took on their teachers, and all of the energy from the stands made the entire event even more exciting.

“Participation is really important, and we definitely did a better job this year getting people involved than we have in the past,” said Evan Hecht (’19), one of the four pep rally hosts. “For someone like me who doesn’t play sports, it’s fun getting involved, whether it was [watching] the [teacher vs. student] basketball game, or everyone standing up and clapping with boys’ soccer.”

The end of the event meant that the winner of the sports team pride competition would be announced. As the gym quieted down, the four hosts, Omri Tarlo (’19), Billie Singer (’19), Evan Hecht (’19), and Dené Chung (’19), shouted out the who the winner was: boys’ soccer.

“I think they won because they got everyone in the crowd involved,” said Hecht.

A misconception about this whole event, however, is that it is only to celebrate the fall sports season. It is much more than that. “The goal of the pep rally, at least in my mind, and in the minds of the administrators, is not just about athletics. It’s about…our school, about what we do,” said Mr. Carollo.

The girls’ volleyball team in a huddle

“It creates a sense of tiger pride, within not only a team, but really the whole school,” said Grady O’Brien (’19), a girls’ cross country co-captain. “Even if you don’t do a school sport, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the same amount of energy [as those who do play a sport].” And for the students who decided to leave because they think that the pep rally is “lame” or “pointless,” remember that “there is so much that people do, and there is a lot of preparation for it, so the least other students could do is be respectful of that and appreciate” all the hard work, said O’Brien.

Additionally, “the pep rallies are what the students make of them,” said Mr. Jacobetz. “If they bring their energy, and cheer and participate, it’s gonna be a lot more fun. It’s all about how you approach it.”

We are Tenafly, and our unity is what makes us unique. With the rest of the school year ahead of us, it is imperative that we remember our “Tiger Pride” and continue to encourage morale for the team we are all a part of, Tenafly High School.

“We’re part of great things here,” said Mr. Carollo. “For some, it’s athletics. For some, it’s academics. For some, it’s band. For most, it’s all of it. It’s an opportunity to celebrate what we do every day. It’s an uncommon thing that goes on here, but we take it as being common because that’s just who we are.”