GET… FIRED… UP1,100 pack Outlets for annual citywide pep rally

Published 11:28 pm Saturday, August 4, 2012

For 17-year-old Breianna Foster, Saturday’s annual citywide pep rally was a first-time experience, one that she’s glad she got to have before graduating.

“I thought it would be boring, but it was pretty cool,” said Foster, a senior and newcomer to the cheerleading squad at Vicksburg High School. “I was impressed with the audience and all the people who came out.”

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said an estimated 1,100 people came out for the show at the Outlets at Vicksburg. The event featured high school and junior high cheerleaders, dancers and band members from Vicksburg, Warren Central, Porters Chapel Academy and St. Aloysius.

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Foster, the daughter of Dexter Foster and Lillian Foster, said she’s grateful she had the chance to perform for the pep rally.

“It was my last year, but I figured it was better to do it my senior year than not at all,” Foster said. “I tried out before, but things didn’t work out.”

The pep rally, which is in its 14th year at the Outlets of Vicksburg, is an annual event aimed at drumming up excitement for the upcoming school year while boosting a sense of community throughout the schools.

“I was most excited about the students,” said Margaret Gilmer, general manager at the Outlets. “They’re excited to see what everyone else is doing, they’re enjoying being out here, and all the teams came out in support.”

Vicksburg Warren School District Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Swinford said one of her favorite aspects of the event is the sense of pride she feels in Vicksburg’s youth.

“I’m having a blast watching my kids out here,” Swinford said. “I claim them all, even St. Al and Porters Chapel, this is our community.”

“It’s cool because everyone can come out and all get along,” said Anna Masterson, a ninth-grade cheerleader at PCA and the daughter of Dr. Calvin and Dana Masterson. “Just seeing everyone come out and have a good time and cheering each other on is fun.”

Temperatures during the event reached 88 degrees, but that didn’t stop students from performing at their best.

“I think they did an incredible job,” VHS cheer sponsor Jennifer Grey said of her squad. “Practicing in the heat this summer prepared them, I think it’s great that everyone gets to come out and cheer for each other.”

“We started working on our dance in April,” said Flashette Ann Garrison Thomas, a 17-year-old St. Aloysius senior and the daughter of Dani Kay and Gary Thomas. “I think we looked good, I like being with the whole city and seeing all the schools.”

But for Foster, the best part of the citywide pep rally was spent with her own squad.

“We’ve practiced so often, we get connected as a team,” Foster said. “I like this team, and I think we did great.”