SANDPOINT — Red, white and an abundance of school spirit dominated the Sandpoint Middle School gymnasium last Friday.
“We are Bullpups,” resonated through the gym and the halls of the school as the students cheered loudly.
Students and staff celebrated school spirit during last week’s pride assembly, which was loaded with short competitions, cheering and excitement.
“We do pride assemblies every year, every quarter, but starting this year we kind of upped the game a little bit, ” said Tonya Sparks, SMS girls physical education teacher.
Typically, she said, they would have a guest speaker, a couple of pride games and a drawing. This year, they added competitions, music, and the loud chanting of “We are Bullpups.” There was even a large cardboard-cutout head of Principal Casey McLaughlin floating around. Teams are split into red and white, rather than split up by seventh and eighth grade to create a “whole group atmosphere” and be more inclusive of all students.
The teams get points during a basketball game and other competitions, as well as being as loud as they can and showing their school spirit. They also get points for transitioning from loud and spirited to quiet, respectful and listening to the speakers on the floor, Sparks said.
Sandpoint High School athletic team captains judge the competitions. For last week’s assembly, the captains of the boys and girls basketball and the wrestling team were the judges. Last time, she said, the judges were captains from the high school’s fall sports teams, including soccer and volleyball.
In addition to basketball, the teams were pitted against each other in a game of hockey and, in lieu of the Winter Olympics, a bobsled-style race. Sparks said a lot of the school’s P.E. games and relays have been themed around the Olympics this year.
“This was a special occasion, because it only comes around every four years,” Sparks said. “We wanted to tie that in somehow.”
The white team took home the win Friday by one point with a score of 20-19.
The assembly was not limited to the athletic competitions, however. Sparks said the assemblies in the past have been geared around sports, but they wanted to gear them more toward all extracurriculars. For that reason, the mathletes were recognized as was the student leadership team. The student leadership, in turn, recognized 35 students in the school they nominated for bringing a positive vibe to the school.
Sparks said parents and community members are encouraged to check out the pride assemblies, with a reminder that visitors to the school must check in at the office.
Mary Malone can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.