2015-10-21 / Schools

Spirit Abounds at Haldane Homecoming Pep Rally

By Stephen Schweikhart

Top: The junior tug of war team battles the seniors in an epic battle Friday. Above, Selfie time for a group of seniors. Top: The junior tug of war team battles the seniors in an epic battle Friday. Above, Selfie time for a group of seniors. For two hours this past Friday, Haldane's gym was filled to the brim for the school's annual, raucous pep rally. The school's tiny gym was packed with an endless sea of facepainted students, with each class occupying one of the four bleacher sections that frame the gym floor. Above each class were countless posters, each a narrative as to why their class was best. The seniors’ safari theme proclaimed their "reign" over the other classes – the "i" and "e" replaced by a 16 to cleverly announce their Class of 2016 status. The GI juniors used streamers and flags to display their patriotism. The preppy sophomores used an explosion of color to brighten their corner of the gym, while the laid back freshmen used a summer theme to help forget the cool weather outside.

The float contest came first, with each class using a theme-decorated shopping cart to parade around the gym. As is tradition, the seniors were not the most gracious of hosts, pelting the freshmen and sophomore floats with crumpled-up balls of newspaper. When the junior float, a cardboard tank complete with a smoking gun turret, made its rounds, the seniors simply turned their backs, failing to even acknowledge its presence. When it was time for the senior float, the gym went dark, music blared and in came a safari scene, complete with a hunter, plants, grasses and dramatic lighting. The senior class exploded, as the freshmen, sophomores and juniors voiced their displeasure with their elders’ melodramatics.

Stephen Schweikhart Stephen Schweikhart Next up was a new tradition for the pep rally – team skits. Each varsity team was charged with putting together a brief performance, and judging by the variety of the performances, there were no real guidelines or requirements. This tennis team, well, played tennis, albeit on a mini court. The cross country teams lined up on one end of the basketball court, and upon getting the directive from starter David Rotando, proceeded to sprint across the gym and directly out of the emergency exits at the far side of the gym. For a while, no one sure if they were ever coming back. Eventually they did. The girls’ soccer team, with the help of head coach Gary Van Asselt, performed a song, while Anthony Percacciolo channeled his inner Ryan McConville as he imitated his head coach leading the Blue Devils through a series of tough workouts. Throughout the contest, a crack panel of judges, Haldane's own Ed Crowe, Dr. Eric Richter, Brian Alm and Chris Salumn, held up scores ranging from 1 to 10. Crowe was consistently the toughest judge, eventually earning red cards from the entire boys' soccer team after giving them 1 on their routine. No word as to whether Section 1 will suspend Crowe for next year's pep rally.

Will Zuvic and Brian Haines battle for the disc in junior/senior ultimate frisbee game. 
Stephen Schweikhart Will Zuvic and Brian Haines battle for the disc in junior/senior ultimate frisbee game. Stephen Schweikhart There was a puzzle-solving contest (won handily by the freshmen,) a volleyball tournament (captured by the seniors,) and a spirited series of ultimate Frisbee matches. The juniors and seniors faced off in the Frisbee final and battled to a 1-1 tie that went to double overtime. The juniors were seconds away from winning the match in regulation, by the seniors managed to get the equalizer with 12 seconds left. During the overtime, senior Melissa Tringali was nearly knocked out of bounds by some aggressive defending by junior Brooke Vahos. Tringali looked for a foul to be called on Vahos, but game referees Joe Virgadamo and Ed Crowe looked on unsympathetically.

The final event of the day was the tug-of-war, which wound up producing one of the best match ups the pep rally has seen. For over 30 seconds, the juniors and seniors battled for the championship. The seniors seemingly held the upper hand, but on two separate occasions the juniors managed to move the seniors forward, sending the gym into a frenzy. But after the second junior thrust, the seniors righted themselves and managed to pull the juniors over the line. It was an epic battle, and it was just enough to send the seniors over the top and allow them to capture the Spirit Week title.

Return to top

Weekly Poll

Were you in favor of Philipstown's Equal Protection Resolution?
Click below for our Digital Version of the PCN&R
2015-10-21 digital edition