Anchors Aweigh for Spirit Day

Senior Class Mascot Explains Spirit Day

Imagine a sea of screaming girls dressed in handmade paper costumes, standing in a clumped circle around another peer standing on a referee stand leading them in cheers. Silly, right? Some readers may even have a headache just from the thought of the situation. But Mount Carmel Academy’s students are immune to the headaches.

Annually, each grade is granted a day to spend fifteen minutes during their lunchtime to perform cheers tailored to their grade’s theme. It is classic tradition at MCA that students look forward to each year.

The girls, however, do not take this friendly competition lightly. To be crowned Spirit Day winner is an honor; not everyone is privileged enough to earn the title, making the girls work that much harder knowing that they must earn this honor.

Although the school’s official mascot is the cub, each grade level has their own mascot or theme that rotates as seniors graduate and eighth graders enter. Pink Panthers, purple Butterflies, and blue and red Ragdolls are the permanent class mascots belonging to the current seniors, juniors, and sophomores, respectively. Once the grade receives its class mascot at the end of its freshman year, it keeps that mascot until it graduates. Freshman and eighth graders pick a new theme each year until their senior big sister class passes down their mascot. Each permanent mascot holds its traditions and legacies dearly close to its heart; the pride is awesome.

Each grade obtains a board of a little more than a dozen girls, a class president, and class mascot. The board and its president spend hours throughout the summer creating costume out of paper bags, table-runner, paint, and many other materials to match their theme. Their dedication and hard work is well respected throughout school, as they must make identical costumes for around two hundred and forty girls.

The class mascot is responsible for creating one unique costume and spirit stick for herself that coincides with her peer’s costumes. She must also create an opening, between fifteen and twenty cheers, and a closing for the actual Spirit Day performance.

For example, this year’s Pink Panther Senior class of 2018 chose the theme “Seniors Treasure their Last Adventure.” The students were dressed as pink, white, and black pirates and sported a panther with crossbones on their backs. Their mascot was dressed as a pirate in a ship with towering sails and an enormous telescope as her spirit stick.

The girls have three practices, each about fifty minute practices, in days prior to their actual performance. At the second half of lunch, the grade performing proceeds to the gym floor and the remaining grades take their seats in the stands. You can feel the nerves and excitement in the room as the gym becomes dead silent, and the show begins. For fifteen minutes, the grade is required to put on a show for their school, as they are filmed by the school’s broadcast station and judged by secret judges.

When the performance concludes, it is common to see sweat dripping from the hair of students, costume pieces all over the gym floor, and tears of joy rolling down the girls faces.

Grades are judged not only on their performance but also on their ability to clean up after themselves around school, their behavior in class and towards other grade levels, and their display of true class unity. The reason behind Spirit Day is not just for friendly competition but for the growth of the class. The girls must come together to put on a winning show in such a short amount of time, it is almost guaranteed that the grade will become more united than before.

Results are revealed right before Mardi Gras break, leaving the girls hanging on for the final outcome for months.

Despite who wins and who does not, the experience is truly one never to be forgotten.

All performances can be viewed on Mount Carmel Academy’s website mcacubs.org.