Spirit Week recap: Week culminates in senior victory

    After an intense week of thunderous lunch rallies, controversial altercations between classes and exciting spirit dances, the senior Class of 2014 has proven victorious in the 2013 Spirit Week competition, according to an announcement by the Associated Student Body at Saturday evening’s homecoming dance.

    Throughout the week the sophomore Class of 2016 put up a strong fight, maintaining the lead for the first four days. However, the floats and spirit dances on the last day put the seniors ahead, as these competitions carry more weight.

    To contribute to the comeback against the sophomores, the seniors swept Friday’s lunch rally competitions, which included tug-of-war, cheers and best dressed, putting them only 75 points behind the Class of 2016 going into the after school rally.

    Victories in both the spirit dance and the float placed the seniors ahead of the sophomores in the conclusion of Spirit Week. However, the sophomores’ strong performance throughout the week earned them a second place finish above the juniors, and the freshman trailed in last place.

    Regardless of how the scores turned out, each class had strong performances throughout the week.

    A highlight for the freshmen class came in the advisory rally, when freshman Miles Tention went on a run to win the boys’ three-point competition, first beating senior Noah Phillips and then junior Kevin Mullin to take first.

    The sophomore class won the lunch relay on Wednesday, further advancing its lead, in addition to winning best dressed on three out of the five days.

    The junior class performed well in its dance and float, taking second in both the categories, in addition to winning best dressed on theme day, where they dressed as their “yellow submarine” theme.

    The senior class started the week of strong winning musical chairs on Monday, and also coming out on top in the tug-of-war competition during Friday’s lunch rally.

    The week was not all fun and games, however.  Food fights and physical altercations between the sophomore and junior classes threatened the lightheartedness of the week, in addition to hindering each class’ sportsmanship scores.

    Finally, the week culminated with float presentations and spirit dances in the after-school rally on Friday at the football field. Members of the judging squad included Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff and members of Gunn High School’s own student government.

    This year’s Spirit Week saw many changes. A new scoring system and new rules encouraged classes to be kinder toward each other, as even “booing” caused sportsmanship deductions in the point totals. Moreover, several new competitions occurred throughout the week. The “Minute to Win It” competitions, which included the game “Penny Hose,” made their debut this Spirit Week.

    “We wanted to try something new this year so we incorporated a lot of new games,” senior ASB Spirit Week Commissioner Keri Gee said.

    The 2013 Spirit Week also saw the first ever brunch rally on Wednesday, although the “Carrying Capacity” game that was featured at the rally led to all classes being disqualified for cheating.

    “We wanted to add something more to Spirit Week so we tested out a simple game that we could play during the short time frame at brunch,” Gee said. “However, that kind of backlashed at us after both sides cheated. In the future we will probably do a different game that will be a lot simpler and less crowded.”

    Moreover, ASB claimed that this was the first Spirit Week that was not “rigged” for the seniors to win. Examples of such rigging can be found in the 2011 Spirit Week controversy, in which a new category of “unity points” was added after the sophomores had earned the most points, largely hurting their score and allowing for a senior win.

    The Spirit Week weekend was also a highlight for many Paly students. Despite the Viking’s heartbreaking loss to the Milpitas Trojans at Friday’s homecoming football game, the homecoming dance saw unusually large attendance numbers, at about 750 students, according to ASB.

    Despite some new rules and altercations throughout the week, the 2013 Spirit Week saw countless Paly students enthusiastically dress up and cheer to show their Paly pride.