Pack the Place pumps up student spirit


Zahra Ghadeer

The basketball team cheering with the cheer team on Feb. 3 during the pep rally.

Vibrant energy filled the air as students filed onto the gym bleachers, with the band energetically performing in the background, interrupted only by excited chatter all throughout the gym. Suddenly, everyone quiets down for the start of Hinsdale Central’s winter Pack the Place Pep Rally.

The rally began during the middle of 9th period on Friday, Feb. 3. The Pep Rally took place in the gym as a conclusion to Hinsdale Central’s Spirit Week leading up to the Snowcoming Dance. 

“I think it’s a good time to throw in a spirit week at the end of January,” said Sally Phillip, activities director. “It’s pretty blah out, and so it’s nice to have something to get kids excited for.” 

It was the first time that Central hosted Pack the Place since 2019, as COVID-19 restrictions prevented the pep rally from occurring. The pep rally began with the National Anthem sung by Leandra Gruft, senior, with the band playing in the background. Then, the activities commenced. Student council members directed most of the activities.

“All of our assemblies are student initiated,” Phillip said. “I set the date and the timing of [the assemblies] and then work with the kids to plan it and give them ideas for games. Then I kind of just go with it.”

Some of the activities which occurred during the assembly included students from different classes racing in inflated animal costumes across the gym, upperclassmen and lower classmen bleacher volleyball, staff vs. students basketball game, performances by both the poms and cheerleading teams, and a schoolwide rock, paper, scissors game where Becky Chen, freshman, won. The rock, paper, scissors game was initiated a few days prior to the pep rally, where students attempted to win the most games and get necklaces from their opponents.

One new addition to the Pack the Place Pep Rally was a dance battle between Hinsdale Central’s Dance Company and staff.

“We practiced for about two to three months,” said Kayla Liang, sophomore, a member of Hinsdale Central’s Dance Company. “The performance was great. I had a blast and the teachers did too. I think the girls all worked hard and trained hard. We all worked together and had a great time.”

These efforts did not go unnoticed by students, as many appreciated and enjoyed the pep rally. 

“My favorite part of the pep rally was the game when we all had to keep the beach balls from falling across our sections,” said Yusra Shakaib, sophomore. “I felt that the pep rally was fun because they’re trying to make it more interactive towards students by having the rock, paper, scissors contest and having different clubs involved.”

While there will be no more pep rallies for the rest of the school year, there will be an all-School assembly for the Culture Fair, sponsored by International Club, scheduled for April 28. If you are interested in participating in the Culture Fair, email Caitlin DeLacey, International Club sponsor.