Pep rally run-down: COVID Edition


Carson Manternach and Charlie Joyce speak to the camera while filming Independence’s first virtual pep rally.

A year into the pandemic, the chaotic, crowded scene of a pep rally seems like a distant dream. Though an in-person event remains impossible, Independence’s Student Council Association (SCA) worked around the clock to carry out a different approach, one available through the scope of a camera lens.

To close out the virtual Homecoming Spirit Week, “Tigers Take a Trip,” Independence’s first virtual pep rally premiered on Friday, Mar. 12, prior to the Homecoming football game against Heritage that evening. The event was planned, scripted, and pre-recorded by SCA and Mr. Matthew Ellis over the preceding weekends, edited by Mr. Eric Slauson and shown during eighth block on Friday. 

Totaling approximately 40 minutes, the video featured a variety of fun festivities including winter and fall sport interviews, a relay obstacle-course race through Independence, homecoming court parading, a cheer performance and bleacher decorating. 

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to play in the pep rally games and be at Indy! It was fun to meet the M.C.s [Masters of Ceremony] and run around the school,” said freshmen An Tran, who participated in the relay obstacle course. Tran and the freshmen put up a good fight, but ultimately, the seniors reigned victorious in all of the inter-grade competitions and walked away with the spirit stick.

Veteran M.C.’s, seniors Carson Manternach and Charlie Joyce, hosted the show with enthusiasm, though Manternach stated that its virtual nature posed a couple of challenges. “We had to schedule out the filming very carefully to make sure we only had a few people there at a time and there was time to sanitize everything in between.”

After “taking a trip” all week, Independence’s first virtual pep rally provided a lively final destination and a fun, COVID-safe alternative to one of Independence’s favorite traditions.