“Go home, freshmen!”

Pep rallies are known for their competitive spirit among grade levels, but how do freshmen actually feel about their place at the bottom of the food chain?


Seniors Clara Hoge, Ava O’Malley, and Izzy Ver Meulen cheer in the Jungle at a football game in the fall. At pep rallies before football and basketball games, freshmen learn to watch and learn from the upperclassmen as they patiently wait for their time as seniors one day.

Emalyn Yantis, Staff Writer

It’s a Friday afternoon in the gymnasium, 2:30 pm, the afternoon of a St. Pius X rivalry game. The lights start to flicker, the stands grow silent, and then it’s time: who will win the coveted SPX Spirit Stick? 

The cheerleaders run over to each grade level, starting with the freshmen, and begin to shout the famous “We’ve got that pride” cheer, but they’re quickly overpowered by the seniors screaming “Go home, freshmen!”

It’s long been a tradition for upperclassmen to be dismissive of the freshmen and flaunt their superiority. Does this disrespect bother the ninth graders?

“I don’t mind it,” freshman Charlie Hildreth said. “My brother [Henry Hildreth] is a junior and he thinks it’s hilarious, and I don’t even really notice it.”

Some freshmen think that the chants are unnoticeable, but others have a different opinion.

“It freaked me out because it’s really my first time in that kind of environment,” freshman Robert Gonzalez said. “Most of us came from smaller Catholic schools, so it’s all new to us.”

All of the cheering can cause anxiety to the little freshmen who are new to this whole high school pep-rally thing. However, most find them enjoyable and a time to have fun with their classmates.

“Yeah they are [enjoyable]. It’s fun to be around other people with school spirit,” freshman Katie Swartz said.

As the pep rallies continue throughout the fall and winter sports seasons and the sophomores become more comfortable with shouting alongside the upperclassmen, they have joined in on the fun. Freshmen say it’s not the sophomores who get their attention, though. It’s the oldest group in the building, the seniors, who carved their spot at the top of the food chain.

“It’s a lot more intimidating when seniors cheer,” Hildreth said. “There’s a lot of them and they’re way more pumped up.”

The seniors, as intimidating as they can seem cheering at the freshman, have faced backlash from administrators because the chants can be mistaken as a “form of bullying”.

“No, I don’t [think seniors should be reprimanded],” senior Nathan Mancinelli said. “It’s a tradition that happens towards all freshmen. We should be allowed to taunt them a little bit.” 

After all, the seniors have been doing this for years, it is a tradition. Do freshmen think that the seniors should be allowed to yell at them?

“Yes, because I think it should be competitive,” freshman Noah Bohach said. “If the seniors win every time, they should be able to [shout at us]. It should be like bragging rights.”

As the years drag on and the freshmen become seniors with a new batch of timid freshmen, the cheers will continue and the gym will echo the same chant: “Go home, freshmen!”