Winter Week’s Assembly Wins

Award recognitions, relays and other competitions at the Class Competition Assembly
Grabbing at the exercise bands, Jonas Thelander ‘24 pulls Emmet Dunham ‘25 back from grabbing dodgeballs during Hungry Hippos Jan. 19. Before the game began, participants were tied together with the bands and had to take their shoes off. “I enjoyed being apart [the game]. I didn’t really know the rules, so I was just trying to grab as many as I could,” Thelander said.
Grabbing at the exercise bands, Jonas Thelander ‘24 pulls Emmet Dunham ‘25 back from grabbing dodgeballs during Hungry Hippos Jan. 19. Before the game began, participants were tied together with the bands and had to take their shoes off. “I enjoyed being apart [the game]. I didn’t really know the rules, so I was just trying to grab as many as I could,” Thelander said.
media by Claire Bauer

Cheering erupts as 20 students from all grades gather to compete in a tug-of-war competition. 

Divided into two groups–sophomores paired with juniors and seniors joined with freshmen–tension builds as Jaguars watch the two teams pull with all their might. Roars of encouragement flood through the crowd as they watch their grade slowly push and pull on the gym floor and fight for the win in the final event of the assembly.

Held at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 19, Winter Week’s Class Competition Assembly consisted of speeches, recognition for State Champions on the golf, cross country and poms teams, and three games including a basketball relay sack race, Hungry Hippos and tug-of-war.

The assembly was the second-to-last event of Student Council’s annual Winter Week. Although the spirit week was shortened due to no school for MLK Day Monday, Jan. 15 and no school for a snow day Tuesday, Jan. 16, the rest of the week continued as planned. 

Wednesday was PJ Day, Thursday was Ski/Snowboard Day and on Friday, Jan. 19, students wore class colors–yellow for freshmen, green for sophomores, red for juniors and black for seniors–then attended the assembly and participated in the Bowlero event that night.

“We started prepping before break to figure out games and spirit days, and then when we came back, a few of us worked a little bit on prep work,” Student Council member Owen McWilliams ‘25 said. “We decided which activities to do from gathering all our ideas and selecting ones that seemed like the best fit. There were fewer games than last [year’s assembly] due to the snow day, which shortened our assembly to 40 minutes [instead of] one hour. We had a time crunch, a lot came down to time, [for example], the  tug-of-war was about to be slated but we ended up doing it and a different style too.”  

During Seminar Jan. 18, an announcement was made via speakers that paper rings of each class color were hidden throughout the school. Grades quickly divided as underclassmen searched in the upper pods and upperclassmen downstairs.

It was revealed at the assembly that each ring found added additional points to the scoreboard before the activities took place. The sophomore class found the most rings, starting the competition with a 100-point lead.

After third period Jan. 19, students and faculty alike streamed to the gym and found their spots in the stands. The loud welcome from Marching Band and introduction speech by Principal Andrew Abner were followed by Echos Choir’s performance of the National Anthem. 

After a quick introduction from Student Body President Abigail Williams ‘24 and Student Body Vice President Cale Maguire ‘24, the varsity boys golf team took the floor. Greeted with handshakes from Abner and Athletics Director Tom Brieske, and a speech by their coach, the students showed off their trophy and banner before turning to face the screens.

The lights dimmed and Rock Canyon Television’s (RCTV) congratulatory video featuring tournament clips and interviews was played on the gym’s screens, dedicated to the boys varsity golf team’s first state championship in school history.

“It was really cool to be recognized in front of the entire school, and great to see how much Rock Canyon values our athletics,” varsity golf player Charlie Tucker ‘24 said. “[RCTV] did a great job looking back at what we accomplished and showcasing that for the school to see. [It] was a great memory of the day we won. It’s really cool to know that [the trophy] will be showcased at Rock Canyon forever with our names on it, as the school’s first golf state championship.”

The moment the lights turned back on, boys and girls basketball players entered the main gym from the auxiliary gym, split into four teams based on their grades to compete in the basketball relay sack race game.

Competing students first had to spin around a baseball bat before jumping across the gym in a trash bag. Once they reached the Student Council members at the halfway point, they stepped out of the bags, grabbed a basketball and raced to score before running back to their teammates for their next team member to go. The seniors secured the win, followed by the juniors, sophomores and then freshmen. 

The next athletic team to enter the spotlight was the boys cross country team. After another highlight reel from RCTV played, seven boys walked out with Coach Dan Davies, their State trophy, their State banner and many cheers from the crowd.

The team shook hands with Abner and Brieske as Davies gave a speech recognizing his athletes and their success. He also thanked the crowd, including a special shoutout to the girls cross country team, for their support.

“This was something in the making for a long time. We started training in the summer probably five months before we won state,” varsity runner Brady Hill ‘24 said. “We were training five days a week, on some days in 95-degree heat, so it meant a lot to win because we put in a lot of work. The team atmosphere is great and they’re probably some of the best kids in the school.”

The next competition was Hungry Hippos, where Jonas Thelander ‘24, Emmet Dunham ‘25, Cullen Gilbertson ‘26 and Jase Berven ‘27 played to represent each grade.

The four competitors were joined at the waist by several exercise bands tied together, forming an “X” shape. Four trash cans were placed just out of reach with dodgeballs scattered throughout the gym floor. The goal of the game was to end up with the most amount of dodgeballs in your own trash can.

“I thought it would be a fun thing to represent my class in the assembly,” Thelander said. “I enjoyed being apart [the game]. I didn’t really know the rules, so I was just trying to grab as many as I could.”

The boys twisted and turned, pushing, wrestling and stealing from each other as they reached all over the floor to win. Dunham, representing the juniors, took the win.

The third and final team to be recognized was the varsity poms team. The girls emerged with their coach and State hardware in their matching uniforms, receiving congratulations from Abner and Brieske as the RCTV video recap began to play.

“RCTV did a wonderful job documenting the State experience that my team and I had,” varsity poms dancer Leah Cross ‘24 said. “It felt great and fulfilling to be recognized, and it was really nice to have two other teams to share the excitement with.”

The poms team then swapped places with Earth Environmental Science and Geology teacher Payton Holloway, who led a brief rendition of the “R-C-H-S” cheer before teams were picked for the last game of the assembly: tug-of-war.

20 students were selected to participate. A combination of 10 students–seniors with freshmen and juniors with sophomores–on each team took their footing and placed their grip on the rope that divided the gym. Many expected seniors to win due to their win last year, however, they were defeated by a wave of red and green.

When the whistle blew, the gym echoed with cheers as juniors and sophomores celebrated their first tug-of-war win in history. 

But, it was quickly cut short as Student Council executives interrupted the triumph, revealing that only 10 players on each team were allowed, and the winners had 13. They were disqualified and the points immediately went to the opposing team.

In the end, the seniors won overall, taking first place with 300 points. Sophomores took second, with 225 points and juniors and freshmen tied for third, both with 200 points.

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