Cheerleaders, dance team, students come together for pep rally tonight

Tech will have its annual campus-wide school pep rally tonight at 5:00 p.m. in Memorial Gym.
The pep rally is open to all Tech students and faculty as well as parents. The Tech spirit squad, which includes the dance team, cheerleaders and mascots, will be performing for the Golden Eagles football team. They will perform pieces from their national competition routines as well as other routines they have performed throughout the football season.
“I still get nervous performing in front of people I know on campus,” sophomore dance team member Carly Owens said. “It feels different to perform in front of your friends than when you’re performing at a game.”
The spirit squads will be participating in many activities to lift school spirit and raise team morale for the Tech football team.
“I feel like we get the crowd excited and ready for the game,” freshman cheerleader Rachel Coleman said. “We help pump up our fans and get our football team ready to play. Our goal is to just keep the crowd cheering.”
Owens said, “I think it makes people in attendance more excited about the weekend and inspires them to get more involved with athletics that go on around campus.”
According to the Tech website, Maxwell Alderson was the first official Golden Eagle mascot in 1961. Alderson will be coming back to show his school spirit during the 50th Golden Grad Reunion over the Homecoming weekend. He will return once again to the eagle suit to perform for the Tech audience during tomorrow’s football game against Eastern Illinois University.
“To me, once I had dressed in the costume, I was the Golden Eagle mascot,” Alderson said. “It was not Max Alderson dressed for Halloween or for a costume party. I became a majestic creature that represented a tradition that began in 1925 with the selection for the Golden Eagle as a mascot.”
The pep rally will also include a judged competition section. The sororities, fraternities and some of the resident halls will participate in the activities. They will be judged on two separate sections: participation of other organizations and the competition itself. These organizations have been practicing for weeks to perform choreography, tumbling and stunts in front of the Tech football team and the three selected judges.
“School spirit to me is not just going to class, but enthusiastically supporting your school’s athletics, teachers and other students,” junior Kappa Sigma member Zach Stephens said. “I think the pep rally is a very competitive contest and is a great way to represent how much work the greek and other organizations have done to perform their routines.”