School Spirit as Strong as a Stallion

by Vincent Soliven (H4G) and Paul Gue (H4G), Stallion Sports
XS Pep Rally 2013 (photos by Mark Esquibel, NEXT Office)

Xavier School Pep Rally SY 2013-14 “Walk Without Fear”

On August 29, 2013, the Jacinto Tiu Competition Court atop the Rafael Cortina Sports Center appeared like a sea of blue and gold as Xavier students and teachers alike piled in the stands to celebrate the school’s annual Pep Rally entitled, “Walk Without Fear”.

Since the month of August is known in Xavier as the “Buwan ng Wika,” this special occasion was delivered in Filipino, and it was hosted by Justin Lu of 8E, Tyler Dee of H3, and special guest host Gretchen Ho of the Ateneo Lady Eagles Women’s Volleyball Team.

Festivities began with a prayer led by varsity chess member, Adrian Ong of 7C, followed by an admiring and energizing cheer dance performed by the NU Pep Squad. After the opening dance, the different Xavier varsity teams, led by our very own Dance X, were introduced and given the opportunity to impress the students  with their dance moves. The varsity athletes stomped and moved to the Queen classic, “We Will Rock You,” with choreography courtesy of Dance X.

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The hosts then introduced the different Xavier cheers,  accompanied by the catchy drum playing of X Squad. Four cheers were taught by the hosts to the student body. This segment was capped of with an inter-batch competition that would determine which year level could collectively scream and shout the chants the loudest and most wholeheartedly; the winning batch would have a rumored prize of acquiring a casual pass for the Appreciation Day. The rumored prize turned out to be legitimate, and was awarded by High School Principal, Mrs. Jane Cacacho, to the Grade 7 students.

Smart Gilas Pilipinas team members, LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, were also invited as guests of honor, and they talked about the values of determination and sportsmanship. After Japeth Aguilar shared his part, some of the Xavier varsity athletes shouted to ask the former Ateneo Blue Eagle and Western Kentucky University Hilltoper to deliver a slam dunk. Seconds later, the entire Xavier community caught on and chanted, “Dunk! Dunk! Dunk!” emphatically. After some initial hesitation, Japeth finally obliged by bouncing the ball, then alley-ooping it to himself and then slamming it down with authority. The entire venue erupted. “I thought the ball was a little out of his reach, but he still managed to dunk it!” exclaimed a Xaverian from the audience.

Afterwards, the Panata ng Manlalaro for all Xaverian varsity athletes was led by Isaac Go of H4H, which was responded to with the oath of support by the rest of the student body as led by SC President, Lorenzo Arceo.

Audience participation would clearly not be left out of all the hype that was surrounding this year’s pep rally. In fact, the audience was so active with all the events that were happening, and with all the well-known athletes invited, it was very inviting to also have the audience in support of all of this. The chants and cheers given out by the members of the audience were so loud, that it could be heard even way outside the sports center.

Not to be left out of all the action, Xavier’s student athletes came out in droves from the court dugouts. They were staggering in number, taking up almost the entire area of Xavier’s competition court. The event showcased the sheer number of varsity teams that Xavier School has, such as the chess team, the ultimate frisbee team, the football team, the basketball team, the volleyball team, Dance X, the X Squad, the swimming team, the fencing team, the badminton team, the tennis team, the table tennis team, the golf team, the fencing team, dragon and lion dance team, and Xavier’s newest varsity team, the  cross country team. Upon the introduction of each of these teams, they each had their own little performance to get some recognition from the audience.

The formal ceremonies were concluded by the singing of the school song by the entire student whilst Anton Lapez lit the cauldron of fire stationed within the court, and a few closing remarks by our new school director, Fr. Aristotle Dy, wherein he mentioned that the cauldron symbolized the beginning of the athletic year, and that he wishes all our varsity squads the best of luck.

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Following these formal ceremonies were exhibition games from various varsity teams of the school. Certain sports even accepted challenges from the students in order to show how much fun these certain sports can actually be.

An exhibition basketball game was played in the main competition court which pitted a team composed of freshmen and seniors against a sophomore and junior-filled team. The H1-H4 team came out victorious with a couple of threes from freshman, Anthony Trajano, to close out the game.

Simultaneously, a pair of intense, action-packed futsal matches was being played by four teams composed of a mix of our football athletes from the different batches.

Most of these sporting events were commentated on by members of the Blue & Gold Committee members and/or teachers, who all enthusiastically  gave students information about the sport that they were watching, as well as insights about what was going on.

The Xavier Aquastallions showed their skill in the water as they played out a game of a deceptively tiring and difficult sport of water polo. Their stamina and endurance, despite the rigors of the game, impressed much of the audience as well.

For the volleyball exhibitions, two teams—a blue team, and a yellow team—were made up of varsity athletes from different batches. Their volleyball exhibition game was played out in the high school gym, which finished with the blue team winning 25-23.

In the wooden court of the high school gym, our fencing team displayed to students the way their Pirates of the Caribbean-esque sport is played, and even gave students the opportunity to try it out themselves.

After such a hectic, exhilarating, and much-anticipated event, it can be easily said that all the work put into the Pep Rally was worth it. Seeing the Xavier School student body all in attendance to give a moment to show school spirit, and to show the appreciation for all the student varsity athletes, made such an event like this very worthwhile. The sight of all these Xaverians standing up, applauding, and cheering for these teams is not simply a sign of school pride, but also a sign of appreciation.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Pep Rally! Special thanks to the Blue & Gold Committee and to all those who made “Walk Without Fear” possible! To many more pep rallies to be held, and to keeping Xaverian school spirit alive!

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