White-Out Pep Rally Snows off Winter Athletes


Helena Hu

In the pitch-black gym, sophomore Ian Aros waits in the spotlight ready to hit the high notes of the national anthem.

Jane Zou, Staff Writer

In contrast to previous pep rallies, the white-out pep rally that took place on Dec. 14 was almost entirely in the dark. Students’ phone flashlights lit up the pitch-black bleachers while a spotlight lit the way for sophomore Ian Pham-Aros to sing the national anthem.

Cheer performed the routine that qualified them for nationals earlier this year, barking “purple and gray.” After they rolled up the mat, the winter varsity athletes filed into the gym with either a dance or a chant to upbeat songs, including Korean pop and hip-hop tracks.

“Luckily I have a super good group of kids, and Jeffrey and Maddy are just rockstars that are able to see what’s working and what’s not and how to improvise during the rally,” ASB adviser Sarah Dean said. “I think the only difference was that we wanted to integrate dodgeball into the pep rally.”

The finale for the dodgeball tournaments came to a thrilling end with “Legion of Boom” victorious against “The Freshmen.”

Jazz band had planned to perform in honor of Simon Cabral, but there were legal and privacy concerns surrounding the performance, so it had to be canceled.

“It was definitely an idea we considered,” spirit and rally co-commissioner and junior Maddy Noh said. “We know that pep rallies were one of his favorite things at Portola, and we definitely had him in our minds and hearts as we planned this pep rally. Of course, we wanted to recognize him, but there were certain restrictions.”

To conclude the pep rally, dance company’s maroon-and-black-clad dancers pirouetted to Kelly Clarkson’s “Love So Soft.”

“The highlight of the pep rally was the dancing because of how expressive their movements were, and it was fun to watch,” freshman Puneet Singh said. “I liked how diverse the talents were that were being showcased like athletics and dance and cheer. The entire experience was just interesting overall.”