The wonderful high school experience of Spirit Week kicked off in Warwick this week, with Warwick Veterans Memorial High School and Toll Gate High School gearing up for their Homecoming Weekends.
The Spirit Week tradition has students dressing up in outrageous outfits each day of the week, usually leading up to the Pep Rally on Friday and the Homecoming Game and Dance that weekend.
Both Vets and Toll Gate started their weeks showing off their athletic side with Sports Day, donning jerseys, hats and even facepaint of their favorite professional or school sports team. Toll Gate was glowing on Tuesday with Neon and Tie Dye day, while Vets took on History Day, where each grade had a different time period such as Ancient Greece or Wild West. Then on Wednesday, Vets hallways were filled with color for Class Color Day, while Toll Gate went a little crazy with Mis-Matched Wednesday.
In celebration of Halloween, both schools were having Costume Day today (no masks).
Tomorrow, however, is the crown jewel of Spirit Week for both schools. To gear up for the annual pep rally to cheer on the football team, Vets students will show off their best blue and gold, while Toll Gate will showcase their spirit with Class Color Day. Vets’ homecoming game and annual tailgate will happen on Friday night, with their dance on Saturday. Both Toll Gate’s game and dance are on Saturday.
And next week, it is Pilgrim High School’s turn. Principal Marie Cote explained that while the sophomores are in charge of planning the homecoming dance, the seniors get to pick the Spirit Days. Starting on Monday, Pilgrim students will participate in Class Color Day, TV Tuesday (dressing as your favorite TV character), Western Wednesday and Throwback Thursday. The week concludes with Patriot Pride Day, when students wear their best school colors, black and gold.
“I personally like the Pilgrim Patriot Pride day on the Friday. The students are very excited and many like to participate in the pep rally. The whole school including the faculty gets involved,” said Cote. “On the Friday that includes the pep rally, almost all students are involved. Many go to extremes to show their school pride. Our pep rallies represent all sports as opposed to the traditional football pep rally.”
Spirit Week is a fun tradition that both Toll Gate and Vets students said they look forward to each year.
“I planned my outfits last week,” said Megan Ursini, Vets sophomore. She and classmate Eunice Tejeda said as sophomores they are more confident in going all out with the different theme days because they saw how it was last year; they also are more prepared for how to act during the Pep Rally.
“We’re going to chant loud,” said Ursini about the pep rally. “We didn’t chant loud last year.”
Vets senior Amber Beech said she had trouble figuring out how to wear a toga properly for History Day. “You had to look it up on the Internet,” she said with a laugh. “But it’s OK, because it looks awesome.”
While she and some fellow seniors admitted History Day was hard for many students to pull off, Class Color Day and Blue and Gold Day are a different story.
“You get to go through the hallways and see all the colors, see the unity among the classes,” said Beech.
The group of seniors said they were preparing for Class Color Day by picking up purple hula skirts, sparkly boas, bandanas, face paint and the class had ordered special shirts for the day.
At Toll Gate, junior Rebecca Fulford said she was looking forward to Class Color Day, but she had participated in all the Spirit Days. “Just being able to wear weird things,” said Fulford when asked what her favorite part of the week is. Her outfit planning depends on the theme. “Costume Day requires planning, what you’re going to wear, how you’re going to do your hair,” said Fulford. “Mis-Matched Day you can wear whatever.”
Toll Gate seniors Tianna Francis and Paige Petras have a different reason to love Spirit Week. “We have been cheerleaders since freshmen year, so the best part is Pep Rally,” said Francis.
Petras, who planned to dress as Thing 1 and Thing 2 from “The Cat in the Hat” with Francis, said she loves figuring out what to wear, usually planning weeks in advance.
“I love dressing up. It makes the week more fun,” said Petras.
Emily Pacheco, a freshman at Toll Gate, also said it is fun to participate in the days because you see everyone else “going crazy and going all out.” She also said no matter how crazy someone dresses that day, no one judges them because everyone looks crazy.