Bringing Spirit Back To BHS

Stephanie Stiles

Once upon a time BHS showed school spirit through an in-school pep rally and a Thanksgiving parade. Then, both events lost momentum: the parade due to three consecutive cancellations from poor weather and the pep rally due to a lack of attendance. After multiple years of declining school spirit, the two traditions have made a comeback for this Thanksgiving to bring life back to the high school.

The Thanksgiving parade is run by the football team’s booster club, the Quarterback Club (QBC), which will be putting on another Red Raider Rolling Rally on Wednesday, Nov 27, at noon on Hyannis Main Street to reignite the fallen tradition. This year the QBC is prepared with a contingency plan for poor weather, according to QBC Vice President of Events, Cathy Demanche.

The whole parade is just over half a mile but will be roughly an hour long and “then at 1 p.m. there is going to be a pep rally on the Hyannis Green,” said Demanche.

Demanche explained how the parade will start at the Cape Cod RTA at the beginning of Main Street and the parade route will go down Main Street, take a left onto High School Road, then a left on South Street, and end in the back parking lot near the Town Hall where they will then head over to the Green for the rally.

“If there is rain and the parade has to be cancelled, we are still holding the pep rally part of it, but that would be at 1 p.m. over at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center,” said Demanche.

As far as who will be walking in the parade, Demanche stressed how the parade is open for all student organizations to sign up and build a float.

“We definitely want to reach out to the students, sports teams, as well as the other groups and organizations that are in the school,” said Demanche. “I would love to have the youth of the community celebrated.”

Student groups could span from Drama Club to Spring sports teams. Demanche mentioned how she even contacted the elementary schools to see if they could put together a float for each of their schools. She just wants students, no matter who they are or what they do, to get involved with the parade and express school spirit.

“I don’t want this to become a financial burden on anybody. I especially don’t want that to be the reason people aren’t in the parade. You can be as creative and crafty as possible,” said Demanche.

Demanche has secured four food trucks and now the QBC must “figure out an estimated headcount of how many people are coming, both who are involved and who are spectators, and also the order of groups in the parade,” said Junior Tia Noonan, Captain of the Varsity Cheerleading team and a vocal student advocate for the parade.

Noonan has worked closely with the QBC to get in contact with coaches and students to spread the word to get students involved.

“I discussed with the National Honor Society the possibility that members could help set up and clean up which could count as community service hours,” said Noonan.

“I think the school has lost some of its energy…I’m just trying to bring some positive energy back to the kids in the community,” said Demanche. “Get involved, get a float, or at least show up.”

Student Council President Margo Silliman noticed that same lack of energy and school pride which prompted her to organize an in-school pep rally event for Tuesday, Nov. 26 during F Block.

“Originally we were going to make it for the whole school the day before Thanksgiving, but it’s changed so that we’re going to try and do what Mrs. Gardiner (the senior class advisor) was planning with just the seniors for the same time. Then from there we will see the flaws and what can be fixed and I’m going to try and organize it for the whole school in the spring,” said Silliman. “In the future we are hoping that it’s going to be the whole school all the time and it’s never going to be just a senior thing again.”

Senior Class Adviser Patricia Gardiner has reserved the Senior Pep Rally for the gym during the usual Renaissance Celebration and the event will resemble more of a field day.

“Many people, mostly boys, said they wanted a Senior Field Day, but we realized that wasn’t very possible so instead we wanted some sort of senior event before Thanksgiving,” said Gardiner.

The day will be about celebrating the seniors and will include seniors who want to showcase themselves along with games and relay races. “We want to make everyone feel it’s their senior year, and there aren’t many senior privileges,” said Gardiner. Students will either be in the stands cheering and watching the activities or will be actively participating in them on the floor.

“I’m basically building the frame and Student Council is going to fill it,” said Gardiner. That frame includes organizing Alik Taylor to be the D.J. and Jeremy Shea to be the M.C.. She will provide “swag” such as sweatshirts or t-shirts and wants to color code the grade into multiple colors and each group will cheer on its respective color.

“In a lot of ways we are learning how to go about organizing an event like this and since Mrs. Gardiner has done this before, it’s a good thing that I can learn from,” said Silliman.

Both the pep rally and the parade are experiencing trial years as the organizers try to reignite the fire in BHS school pride after multiple years of lying dormant.

“It’s more fun to be in a school with spirit and I think you’re happier in school when you can have that pride,” said Silliman.