Bringing the rally to the Raider

Raider Nation holds first virtual pep rally

photo credit: Katie Borchetta
Putting on a performance JROTC runs the Raider flags high and proud as the cheer team chants the Wylie East battle cry during the first ever virtual pep rally.

writer: Shelby Perry, Staff Reporter

A pep rally is supposed to be roaring crowds, jam-packed bleachers and pure excitement from students crammed together in the bleachers in the gym. However, under the corona-virus circumstances, none of these aspects were possible for the 2020-21 school year. So, instead of bringing the crowd to the pep rally, Raider Nation brought the pep rally to the crowd. 

The school held its very first virtual pep rally to celebrate the first varsity football game of the season Thursday, Sept. 24. The pep rally was pre-recorded and presented to the students during their second period class. It included a variety of different organizations and teams, including football, cheer, drill team, band and JROTC. 

“We were preparing for about a month,” Sapphire officer Kaileigh Contreras said. “We came into practice ready to work and made sure we knew all the choreography. We went over the dance about a billion times but the hard work paid off.”

Every organization and performer came together for a final rehearsal and recording on Tuesday, Sept 22. 

“We’d all have a good laugh when something would go wrong and we’d have to do it over again,” JROTC member Jacob Cline said. “No one, as far as I could tell, was bogged down by having to redo parts of the pep rally because we were all just having a great time.” 

With every new idea and experience, comes new challenges to face and obstacles to overcome. While they had a blast putting everything together, the process wasn’t picture-perfect.

It was definitely challenging to have no audience to hype us up when we perform. The difference was not having the same atmosphere of school spirit and having to show it all on video.”

— Brita Burns, Sapphire captain

“The hardest part was not knowing how it was gonna turn out,” Cheer co-captain Ashtyn Arp said. “We didn’t get a preview and we took a crazy amount of clips.”

The biggest motivation for the performers during an average pep rally is the crowd of students, cheering them on. However, a virtual pep rally is an entirely different environment. The performers have to rely on their own school spirit to create the energy seen in the video.

“It was definitely challenging to have no audience to hype us up when we perform,” Sapphire captain Brita Burns  said. “The difference was not having the same atmosphere of school spirit and having to show it all on video.”

Despite the moments of challenges and difficulties, the virtual pep rally was a new and memorable experience for both the viewers and participants.

“It certainly was interesting, but I really enjoyed it,” Cline said. “I felt like I was on the inside scoop of some elaborate project, which it really was.”

Another benefit of recording the rally was that it allowed room for mistakes to happen, as the recording could be scrapped and redone. 

“Since it was recorded, we didn’t have to worry about messing up, which we did,” Senior Carter Pohlmeier, who was the rally’s MC, said.

While the situation may not be considered ideal by many, the virtual pep rally is just one of the ways that Raider Nation is making the best of the circumstances.

“My favorite part was just the fact that we were all together and doing what we love again,” Arp said.

The virtual pep rally is posted on Youtube, and currently has over 1800 views.