New Year Brings Changes to Pep Rallies


Isabel Provisor

Senior Djavan Ploetz-Aponte competes in the whip cream bubble gum challenge at the first pep rally.

Brianna Bady and Denisse Vargas

The Pflugerville pep rally kicked off the year’s football season and also gave students a glimpse of what’s to come in future pep rallies. While last year only two rallies were held and interactive activities were not incorporated, new developments approved by Principal Amy Taylor and curated by head coaches hope to bring more fun and increase school spirit from students.

“This year, we get to have four pep rallies so we can get the crowds more excited for the football games,” cheer coach and rally organizer Jennifer Harris said. “We’re planning on [including] more games and I’m hoping for more crowd involvement at each pep rally.”

Along with adding fun activities, such as the pie-eating contest and Maroon Out theme, Harris also hopes to promote student engagement when it comes to picking out these rally games and themes.

“We do a theme for every week, but we’re trying to get more students involved. If anybody has more ideas, I’d love to hear them to have more fun pep rallies. Any kind of input from students would be awesome,” Harris said.

An important part of the season has always been the Westlake game due to the well-known rivalry between the schools, but unfortunately, no rally was held last year. This year students will get the chance to have some fun in celebrating a prominent part of the school’s culture.

“I’m really excited to have a Westlake rally this year because I feel like it will be the most fun assembly. The rivalry makes me want to show more spirit, and it’s my favorite game of the year,” sophomore JJ Tagle said.

However, the news of more rallies brings added work for the performers. Cheerleaders, band members, and drill team members are preparing to carry out unique sets at each assembly.

“It takes a lot of effort and energy to practice, especially full-outs and we do full-outs quite often, but we have a really good team with a positive attitude and they make it go by quicker,” junior cheerleader Kensley Miller said.

As is often true of performing in front of a whole school, team members may feel nervous prior to the day of the assembly but enjoy them just as much as the viewers.

“In practice, you’re just hitting the stunts, but at the pep rally all your nerves kick in and you just have to go with it. It’s been pretty stressful, but it all pays off in the end because the rallies are really fun,” sophomore cheerleader Mia Roberts said. 

Organizing this year’s rallies won’t be Harris’ first rodeo, as she’s been in charge of planning for several years and is always looking for ways to improve.

“I think because this is my fourth year, I’ve got it down to a system, and I have a run of show outline for each pep rally. For the cheer dances, out-coaches [a third party coach who works outside of the school] choreograph and I do everything else,” Harris said.

Overall, the main goal of adding more rallies and activities is to encourage school pride and to allow students to get some entertaining off-time during school hours. 

“I think they’re a lot of fun, and it’s a good way to show school spirit that Austin High really needs,” Miller said.