Pride in Port: Students, staff and community celebrate Port Washington with a weekend of events.

Senior+Ani+O%27Hanlon+and+other+members+of+the+Portettes+celebrate+after+their+performance+at+the+pep+rally.+

Harry Paul

Senior Ani O’Hanlon and other members of the Portettes celebrate after their performance at the pep rally.

Dan Bidikov, Hannah Fagen, Hannah Zweig, Hannah Fagen, Hannah Zweig, and Dan Bidikov

What do face paint, pom-poms, inflatable bounce houses, and screaming teenagers have in common?  They were all present in large numbers during last weekend’s annual Pride in Port homecoming festivities.

The events kicked off with a spirit day on Friday, during which students dressed festively in blue and white clothing, and also painted one another’s faces and bodies blue and white, in preparation for that afternoon’s pep rally.

The student body and staff members entered the gym to find several “living statues” standing still on the floor, complete with painted faces, bodies, and hair to match either their suits or togas.

Student band The Blue Suits performed during the start of the pep rally, opening with Carly Rae Jepson’s summer hit “Call Me Maybe.”

“Performing in the pep rally was a lot of fun,” said sophomore Juliette Walzer, who sings lead vocals for The Blue Suits and also sang the National Anthem directly following the band’s first songs.  “I really enjoyed the energy from the audience and from my friends.”

After the National Anthem, the gymnasium lights went out, and the main performances officially began. To the sound of a pounding bass, a group of performers fitted in orange jumpsuits and white masks marched out in lines, and then proceeded to dance to the opening of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

The orange jumpsuits?  Those were inspired by the viral Youtube video featuring the real-life prisoners of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center.

This entrance was a secret well-kept by performers, although rumors of a mysterious “surprise” circulated the school in the days leading up to the pep rally.

“The surprise is really creative and unexpected,” said freshman Harlee Tung, a Portette, about a week before the pep rally.  “I think the audience is going to be very confused but very entertained.”

After the jumpsuit-clad mob exited the floor, the usual cheerleader and Portette performances began, with a few notable additions.  The step team returned for the second year, the Latin Dancers performed the mambo, and, finally, a surprise performance by the K-Pop group to PSY’s “Gangnam Style” concluded the sequence of dances.

A series of short games followed the performances, including one called the “Football Shimmy,” in which student couples stood facing one another and shimmied footballs up from their waists to their necks.

Several of the group of teachers standing near the exit turned their heads to face away from the activity, and later expressed sentiments that this activity may not have been the most appropriate for a pep rally.

“I  didn’t even know what was going on there,” said Spanish teacher Ms. Angela Morffi.

“We make new games every year,” said assistant principal Dr. Fitzgerald. “we never repeat the same games, and we spent a lot of time talking about it and have meetings. We ultimately decided to make the game from the waist up and asked couples if they were comfortable with the game ahead of time.”

This year’s pep rally centered around musical performances and silly games, such as retrieving gum from a vat of flour and blowing a bubble, and shaking one’s head as vigorously as possible to rack up the “steps” on a pedometer worn on a headband.

Some were disappointed by the lack of time devoted to this year’s homecoming court and athletic teams.

“Most people really care about the homecoming events, and that should be the focus of the pep rally,” said senior Jack Rucigay.

At 11 on Saturday morning, representatives from community organizations, all seven district schools, and Schreiber’s marching band, cheerleaders, Portettes, and homecoming court marched in a parade down Main Street, Port Washington Boulevard, and, finally, Campus Drive.  The parade continued to the field adjacent to the track, the location of the student-run children’s carnival.

Key Club volunteers staffed the various inflatable activities, and most school clubs ran tables selling food as fundraisers.

“We want to use the money to host our first conference here at Schreiber,” said Model UN representative sophomore Naomi Boico.

The Science Honor Society and Science Olympiad partnered together to run a particularly popular table, at which children could create their own Borax and white glue “gloop.” Student Council coordinated the sale of tickets and the collection of funds.

A few hours into the carnival, students, teachers, and families headed over to the turf  to watch the homecoming game.

This game continued the Viking football team’s brand new winning streak, bringing in their third win this year and their first homecoming win in several.  These wins were the first in two years, after the varsity team was demoted to the developmental league.

The game began with a strong lead by the Vikings, who scored twelve points in just the first quarter and carried their lead over into halftime.  Quarterback James Burns threw for 137 yards and got three touchdowns.  While St. Dominics’ Bayhawks gave the Vikings a brief scare in the third quarter with six points scored, the final score read 24-9.

“The team is showing a lot of perseverance and determination and I’m proud of each and every one of those guys and they’re just going out there and they’re working hard and they’re going to come out with a win,” said senior Mike Berry.

Student seemed to rally around the win, happy to be cheering for the victors.

“There was definitely a lot of pep,” said senior Miles Kurtz. “I think that the benefits of the developmental league definitely came through today. I’m feeling a lot more school spirit and I think it’s because the game is actually competitive.”

At halftime, the cheerleaders and Portettes performed their routines before four Schreiber graduates were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame and the Homecoming King and Queen, seniors Shun Akai and Courtney Pusey, received their crowns.

“I was overjoyed to see so much school spirit,” said senior Jillian Knoll.

This was the 24th year of Pride in Port festivities, after the event first began as a community effort to increase attendance at the homecoming football game in 1989.

“Teachers and students from the high school as well as the Chamber of Commerce wanted to generate an occasion where the whole town could get together and celebrate,” said Pride in Port committee chair Ms. Barbara Fatticone.