BY KELSEY FUSON
As LOHS students begrudgingly filed into the new gym for yet another assembly, they spotted their friends and then plopped down on the uncomfortable bleachers with tired eyes and slouched shoulders. As I looked around, I could feel the energy being sucked out of the air and into the negative souls of my peers who felt as if they were being tortured by the fun the administration was inflicting upon them. Cue the cheerleaders who desperately tried to get the students pumped up about the biggest sport event coming up or latest state title. Then cue the rare enthusiastic student trying to hold on to those few strands of school spirit that live on at Lake Oswego High School. After what seemed like a decade to the non-spirited Laker, students were released back to class. This is a typical scene from a Lake Oswego high school pep rally from my first three years of being a Laker. I always thought, ‘how can a school with such strong academic and athletic success spewing out of the windows, doors and cracks be filled with such little school spirit?’ This concept boggled my mind ever since freshman year… Until now.
But first, let’s rewind. As a freshman class officer, I felt as though I was constantly pushing the idea of improved school spirit to my timid peers who were simply trying to fit into the high school atmosphere. I thought that this would just be a one year struggle that was cured by moving up the social ladder of high school and into sophomore year. But when sophomore year rolled around, the problem seemed to persist and I struggled even more to promote school spirit to the seemingly uninterested class of 2012. When junior year began and my role as an upperclassman started, people seemed to become more comfortable with the idea of promoting school spirit, although there was still very apparent resistance.
Throughout my high school career, I have witnessed some of the most pathetic spirit weeks, where only the class officers (who are required to by the leadership advisor) participate. I’ve watched the same people build our homecoming float and perform in Mayfete. Yeah, we seem to be able to pull it off, but wouldn’t it be so much better if we had a substantial amount of people actually participate? To me, the talent and success of the class of 2012 should be more incentive to join in and support. And for the other classes, their repeated experiences in not winning first place should be all the more motivation. So what’s the deal? Would supporting your class be all that bad? Would it hurt to put in a little effort while getting to know your peers and push your class to succeed?
When it comes to athletics, the Lake Oswego Lakers seem to dominate in several sports. But even if LO didn’t crank out top notch sports teams, it would still be unacceptable to show such a lack of support and spirit. For example, Lakeridge isn’t necessarily known for high quality athletics, but they seem to bring more than double the amount of fans we have… to our own home games. This sense of unity would make high school such a fun and welcoming place, but for some reason, LOHS seems to fail below the normal standards. High schools that haven’t even been able to taste the sweet possibility of a state title or big win are still able to show support for the athletes and people in their school that work so hard to make the school a better place.
All of this seemed to be such a pressing issue… Until this year. Coming up with ideas to write about for my column, I found myself thinking of what bothered me the most: the lack of school spirit at LO. But since that idea was formed, my fellow Lake Oswego Lakers have truly proved me wrong. Game Day week was one of the most spirited weeks I have ever seen. Walking into the pep rally, I was more concerned about needing to completely rewrite my entire column that described our school as failing in the spirit department when I should have been enjoying the atmosphere of energy and hype circulating around the big game. When I rolled up to Jesuit at 4:00 p.m. to save front row seats, people were already staking out their spots. And while looking back on the white cloud of baby powder that lingered over the student section, or the impressive cheers led by cheerleaders and students alike, I think it’s safe to say that our victory ended up as one of the most fun and exciting high school games in my four years as a Laker. And this is all thanks to you.
Way to go Lakers. You have proved me wrong. You’re not only supporting the teams that you root for, you’re supporting your peers in having a more positive outlook on life. With this level of spirit, we’ll roller coaster our way through the regular football season and into playoffs.