Pep Fest 2018 redefines “Spartan spirit”

A fully-clad spartan steels herself for the encounter with the ultimate adversary: a tiny stuffed lion. Confused? Let’s take a step back. On Sept. 28, students channeled into the Briggs Gymnasium for the annual Homecoming Pep Fest. The start of the assembly began calmly, even for a rioting mass of hyped-up students. SAC co-presidents Ethan Asis and Max Moen announced the winners of class color days along with the Lip Sync competition: Ryan Moore and Sawyer Johnson in first place and Rylan Hefner in second. Dean of Students Chantal Thornberry advised students to “stay safe and enjoy your weekend.” Still, the students in the bleachers were unaware of the extravagant showcase of Spartan spirit ahead.  

The annual ping-pong tournament resulted in an eleven to six final score, seniors Jeffrey Huang and Husaam Qureishy victorious over Sameer Bijwadia and Nathan Sobotka.

“It was stressful because we were against seniors, but it was fun overall,” Bijwadia said. 

This year’s dodgeball tournament featured a modified version of the game with two bowling pins on both sides of the gym. Senior Michael Forsgren acted as a heated referee, at one point throwing a red card onto the court and ejecting senior Philip Bragg from the game for arguing. The crowd’s cheers reflected the changing activity on the court: jailbreaks left and right, contentious calls, etc. The senior team used an effective strategy of coordinating strikes when the junior team ran out of ammunition, resulting in a resounding win.

In the first of the wildly creative homecoming activities, grade representatives donned a ski mask and taped their heads — the objective being to stick as many spoons to their head as possible. After a surreal scene of four tadpole-like figures writhing on the gym floor, a clear victor emerged: the 9th-grade group with 21 spoons.

In the first of the wildly creative homecoming activities, grade representatives donned a ski mask and taped their heads

Grade representatives slipped pantyhose over their heads with a tennis ball inside, creating an elephant-like swinging trunk. What? Yes, this happened. The objective was to race from one end of the gym to another, knocking down water bottles corresponding to grade color (with your “head or whatever” as SAC member Gavin Kimmel put it). Though sophomore Senai Assefa was the first to knock down all the bottles, junior Zach Dyar crossed the finish line first, flexing on the crowd.

Relay races are always a must-have for homecoming, but this year’s race had an extra caffeine boost. Grade representatives stacked cups while another spun themselves around with a bat and took a free throw — when completed, two would form “three legs” with tape, and sprint across the gym back and forth. After some confusion, Will Rathmanner was the first to find a chocolate ball in a pie-tray of whipped cream, and won (though Milo Waltenbaugh’s whipped cream did not actually contain anything).

This years captain’s challenge — involving fall sports captains and a sort of musical chairs — came with a twist. The final competition between senior Blythe Rients and senior Ethan Less was to catch the “Spartan” Betsy Roman instead of items such as shoes or keychains from the crowd. When finally caught, Roman led the annual tradition of the “Spartan Beat,” heard below.