Students, teachers anticipate Thursday's Winter Rally

Christina Chen, Author

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Palo Alto High School’s annual Winter Rally will take place after second period Thursday in the big gym.

Because of the rally, the bell schedule will be modified to include time for the rally, pushing back the rest of the day and dismissal time.

According to Student Activities Director Matt Hall, the rally will include a seniors versus staff basketball game, performances by the cheer and dance squad and music from the marching band.

Seniors Emma Ketchum and Sophie Parker, spirit commissioners of the Associated Student Body, organized the student team via the senior class Facebook group.

“There are 20 seniors on the team this year,” Ketchum said. “People signed up online and then we picked names out of a hat.”

Parker added that they started this lottery practice this year due to the large amount of people who signed up.

“Usually the teams are set,” Parker said. “Whoever signed up was on the team, but this year 40 kids wanted to do it.”

Many senior team members, including Josh Stabinsky, have been anticipating this event for a long time.

“It’s been a dream of mine to play in this game since I was like eight, so signing up was a no brainer,” Stabinsky said.

Senior Alec Fishman echoed Stabinsky’s sentiments, having wanted to participate after watching the games for the past three years.

“I’m looking forward to draining a fade-away three and hearing the crowd go wild,” Fishman said.

Like most team members, including Stabinsky and Fishman, senior Kyle Stewart is anticipating a student victory.

“The students will for sure win,” Stewart said. “We have some really good former basketball players such as [Seniors] Michael Strong, Rowan Thompson and me, of course.”

Band Director Jeff Willner predicts otherwise.

“I’m looking forward to an awesome teacher win,” Willner said.

According to Ketchum, seniors Annie Susco and Aldis Petriceks, both members of the Paly varsity basketball teams, will act as student coaches and support the teams. Senior Aubrey Dawkins will be the student referee and social studies teacher Eric Bloom will be the staff referee.

Automotive Technology teacher Doyle Knight and Hall organized the staff team. Hall also plans to participate in the game.

“I’m looking forward to playing…in the game and hope that I’ll not let the fellow staff teammates down,” Hall said.

In addition to the student-staff basketball game, the dance and cheer squads will be showing off their routines.

“It’s one of our biggest performances of the year,” said Parker, a member of the cheer team.

Meanwhile, Willner is excited for the his band’s pre-game performance.

“Playing in the gym is always fun,” Willner said. “We’re louder there, and it’s nice to play in front of the whole student body.”

ASB hosts the Winter Rally partly to keep students spirited through spring, according to Ketchum.

“At the beginning of the year, there’s a dip in activities,” Ketchum said. “Spirit Week is over and prom is still far away, so we need some fun things to do to increase school spirit.”

According to Hall, the Winter Rally helps to support spring athletic programs.

“Certainly, it’s a basketball game and it’s held in the gym, but we want to support and encourage people to go out for all sporting events,” Hall said.

Hall added that the rally is also a good way to have fun.

“Everyone enjoys watching the staff take on the seniors and see what happens,” Hall said. “Entertainment is not knowing what’s going to happen.”

Team rosters for the game will consist of the following people.

Seniors:

Boys: Rowan Thompson, Skyler Felt, Michael Strong, Michael Johnson, Jr, Josh Arfin, Arthur Rogers, Chris Entriken, Alec Fishman, Josh Stabinsky, Kyle Stewart, Sean Harvey, Jake Kerman, Kevin Dukovic, Marco Vienna, Austin Poore

Girls: Michelle Friedlander, Matilda Warvne, Meha Bakshi, Maryssa Sklaroff, Jordan Smith

Staff:

Grant Blackburn, Misha Vereyken, Misha Stempel, Elizabeth Brimhall, Debbie Whitson, Justin Cronin, Arne Lim, Phil Winston, Jerry Berkson, Craig Tuana, Adam Yonkers, Michael Najar, Matt Hall