Varsity Girls Soccer Displays Controversial Pep at Rally

On Friday, September 20, at the annual Staples homecoming pep rally, the large crowd was stunned silent when the varsity girls soccer team shocked the school with a controversial display of pep.

Rather than displaying the traditional choreographed dance in the center of the field, the senior players walked the length of the field pulling leashes looped around the necks of some of the freshmen players, who crawled on their hands and knees.

Their performance was received in a variety of ways. Some interpreted it as a harmless joke, while others saw it as either a form of hazing, or an offensive display of sexism.

“I heard about their idea before it happened at the pep rally. I knew it was a joke, but I didn’t find it very funny,” Shannon Cardoza ‘15 said.

A member of the JV girls soccer team, who has asked to remain anonymous, agrees that the actions of the varsity team were distasteful. “It was hazing. It kind of gave the impression that they thought seniors were better than everyone else. Watching as a younger player, it was very upsetting,” she said.

Not all students feel this way. Some believe that the issue has been blown out of proportion, and that the administration, which is  considering disciplinary action against players, is overreacting.

Elizabeth Colwell ’14 does not believe that the actions of the players should be considered hazing. “Anything people can criticize in this school, they will. If it had been the boys on the football team, it wouldn’t have been a problem,” Colwell said.

While students seem to have mixed opinions on the issue, faculty members interviewed unanimously agree that the actions of the girls were inappropriate.

Principal Dodig explained that although some students may have found the performance funny, the adults have a different perspective on what occurred. “These are not bad people, just bad decisions,” Dodig said “It wasn’t bank robbery, but in a school with such strong prevention of bullying, it was counter to everything we believe, on and off the field.”

Other faculty members agreed, including Social Studies teacher Sara Pinchback. “It showed that these particular girls lacked an understanding of their own history as women,” Pinchback said.

“It was just disappointing,” said fellow Social Studies teacher Cathy Schager.

According to Assistant Principal Rich Franzis, the athletic department is handling the issue and will ultimately decide what if any repercussions players will face.

Marty Lisevick, the Staples Athletic Director, said he has already conducted meetings with the players who were involved with the incident, as well as their head Coach Heather Driscoll.

“I am in middle of an investigation, so nothing is concrete yet, but disciplinary action is definitely forthcoming,” Lisevick said.