Class rivalry fuels Homecoming week competition

The class of 2014 cheers during their last Friday pep rally.

The class of 2014 cheers during their last Friday pep rally.

Yena Seo

Before the madness of Homecoming week began, tensions were high as the seniors and juniors prepared for the various events that would occur throughout the week. On Sept. 14-15, both classes posted videos on Facebook teaching the various cheers that each class would use, discussing the plans for each pep rally in the class Facebook groups.

The rivalry began as a result of the juniors beating the seniors in overall scores for the past two years, and culminating in a desire to beat the class of 2014 in their final, senior year. The class of 2014 had always beaten the class of 2015 in the musical extravaganza portion of the Friday pep rally, while the class of 2015 succeeded in other events such as float and canned food sculpture, and were often victorious in the spirit and best-dressed competitions every day.

“This year, the class of 2014 was more unified than ever before,” senior Hannah Pho said. “I think this was the year we were finally able to unleash the class spirit that was there all along, all it took was some pressure from a talented junior class and some organization within our own class.”

The rivalry was fueled through social media, with posts on Twitter and Facebook firing up the classes every day. For the seniors, signs and posters with class cheers were made to be held up during the pep rallies, while students decided on what spirit tactics to use the next day. Junior class president Anant Das often posted in his own Facebook group about pep rally plans. Of course, secrets were leaked on both sides, adding even more fuel to the fire.

“I feel like it got really out of hand at some times and I think it will continue to do so until the effects of this week die down,” Das said. “But both classes met a lot of their goals at the end of the week, so I think it worked out for both the juniors and the seniors.”

During the week, the seniors took a head start, scoring 225 points during the Monday pep rally, while the juniors failed to take away points. The juniors came back on Tuesday, scoring 225 points, while the seniors scored 75. The pattern continued until the Friday pep rally, when the seniors were up with 600 points, while the juniors had 300.

When results of various Friday pep rally events were announced at the football game, many students on both sides were angry and confused. The final score came down to the seniors winning the overall Homecoming Week competition with a total of 2555 points, with the juniors trailing behind at 2410 points. The seniors were victorious against the juniors in the cheer and banner competitions, while the juniors won the musical extravaganza, money wars, canned food sculpture, t-shirt and float competitions.

“While some people may not agree with the outcome, the seniors really did come out strong this year,” junior Misha Ryjik said. “I’m glad that neither class got out of line and we could all be intense without being uncivil.”

For the seniors, winning the overall competition seemed like a fitting way to end their last Homecoming week, after being on the losing side for the past three years.

“In some ways, it’s a good thing that there’s some rivalry present,” senior Tarun Prabhala said. “We started as a class with very little presence on the stands and become the most patriotic, passionate and powerful group out there.”