PATRICK BURNS Review Staff
, Staff Writer
School district officials could not pinpoint the exact date of Ephrata High School’s last fall pep rally, but they admit it was several years ago.
That is scheduled to change on Friday -weather permitting – when Ephrata High School invites spirited students to War Memorial Field, supporting the Mounts’ football team at a rally in advance of the squad’s season-ending game at Cocalico.
"It’s actually been a generation since there’s been a pep rally at Ephrata High School," Dr. Brian Troop, Ephrata Area School District superintendent, said at last week’s school board meeting.
Troop said the district has made a concerted effort to renew the spirited pep rallies that were common at the school in past years.
"Logistics and some other obstacles got in the way in the past," Troop said. "But there’s no obstacle anymore."
The pep rally news is a welcome sign for Mountaineer Nation and prompted supportive comments on the Ephrata Review Facebook page, which previewed this story last week.
"I am so glad to see the high school getting behind and cheering for the football team," wrote Jen Frechette Morales. "Our boys worked so hard this year, and I am so proud to say my son is part of this great group of young men."
Troop and Assistant Superintendent Richard Hornberger met with student leaders throughout the high school who have planned the event as an appetizer for the feature Friday-night match up with rival Cocalico.
The pep rally includes games and activities that will allow the district to "laugh at ourselves" while showing school pride, Troop said. There will be an altered bell schedule to ensure that all classes are able to meet.
The event is outdoors and is at risk of cancellation if the weather is disagreeable, Scott Galen, Ephrata High School assistant principal, said Tuesday.
"The band will be playing, students will be cheering, and everyone will enjoy activities that are centered around the fall sports," Galen said.
Contestants from each high school grade will compete in teams with a faculty and administrative division "doing sports related or minute-to-win-it" games, he said.
Despite the football team’s struggles to an 0-9 start, support has been unwavering from Michele Swisher Gibble, who suggested Ephrata School officials update its athletic facilities.
"Ephrata’s Boys of Fall need efforts of the school district and the community," Gibble wrote on the Ephrata Review’s Facebook page.
"Lets give these hard working guys a ‘Field of Dreams’ to play their home games on. A beautiful facility just might pump them up beyond belief. MOUNTAINEER PRIDE would be at an all time high!"
While Friday’s weather forecast projects rain, officials remain hopeful the pep rally will be held.
"The ball is in place with our continued efforts to bring school-wide and district-wide pride in being an Ephrata Mount," Troop said.
The Oct. 21 school board meeting also featured a presentation by six fifth-grade students who described their class trip with teacher Todd Ream to the Fox Chase solar farm.
Kaitlyn Rice, Kai Mast, Tori Merkey, Alyssa Meier, Mya Machiandi, and Nikki Palma-Ramey, each presented a report.
The board honored former superintendent Gerald Rosati, who retired before the new school year.
Also honored at Monday’s meeting were board members Glenn Martin, Jenny Miller, and Robert Miller, who received recognition for each of their 16 years of service, from the Pennsylvania School Board Association.
The PSBA also honored Tim Stayer, board president, who has served for 12 years on the Ephrata Area School Board.
The board met in executive session before the meeting to discuss personnel issues.
The next regular board meeting will be Nov. 18 at Highland Elementary School, 99 Highland Avenue.
More PEP RALLY, page A16