by Declan Lawrason
A pep rally at Hughenden Public School (HPS) on Wed. March 23 was certainly a sight to behold.
Between Principal Ryan Duffett’s impressive acrobatics, the talented teams and the newly won banners, the whole show was quite entertaining for everyone present.
The rally was organized by staff to commemorate the various academic and athletic achievements of HPS students in and out of school. And there was a lot to celebrate this spring.
The gym was decked out in balloons and streamers and the celebratory music was pumping.
Mr. Duffett opened by acknowledging that the school is on Treaty 6 Territory and began with calling the honour students from 2020-2021 to the stage.
Cross-country running was the first competitive sport of the school year and the Wildcats team this year consisted of students mostly from the Jr. High and Elementary.
Special acknowledgements included Holly Motley from fourth grade who finished in eighth place in the Hardisty cross country race, and her classmate Reid Walters, who finished ninth place in Hardisty and second place in Riverdale.
Next was the Wildcat Volleyball teams. The Jr. Girls A team was acknowledged for finishing third in their league.
Students who competed as members of area Club Volleyball teams were recognized as well; representing the Killam Spartans was Grade 12 student Maya Congdon, representing the Lloydminster U16 Rustlers were Grade 10s Lowell Cuthbert and William Stringer, representing the U15 Rustlers was their classmate Dante Fletcher, and representing the U14 Rustlers was Grade 8’s own Cameron Stringer.
Two recently recognized artists of the school were called up: both from Grade 12, Emma Ledger and Anneka Van Hoek sold original pieces at this year’s Wainwright Art Show.
The newly founded HPS French Club leader Mika Lacoste was heralded for his leadership skills in starting the club.More than 10 students across grades are excited to be learning a second language one day per week after school.
The Achievement Tree awards for elementary were awarded to outstanding students for their work in school.
This month’s awards went to Ryan Carson, Javier Gonzalez-Hope and Lily Nguyen in Grade 4; Brynn Chisan and John Taylor in Grade 5; and Sadie Hunter, Jeremy Nielsen and Bentley Prost in Grade 6.
Mr. Duffett acknowledged the top archers the NASP archery team who recently participated in competition.
The top female archer in both standard and 3D targets was Grade 10’s Alyssa Carson and the top male archer who got bronze in target archery and gold in 3D archery in the elementary division was Grade 6 Wildcat Aaron Stringer.
The dancers of the school were next up, representing various dance academies in the area.
Student gymnasts were also called up, performing some acrobatics on their exit from the stage.
Mr. Duffett was inspired to participate in the fun, displaying some impressive cartwheels.
The HPS Senior Mixed Curling team was recognized for an impressive second place finish in Areas, and a fourth place finish in Zones.
This year’s team consists of Dillan Dambrowsky, Alyssa Karson, Kallee Hope and Gabe Sortland.
Two extracurricular hockey players were recognized for their outstanding skill and making the cut for a Triple-A team. Grade 11 student Hunter Motley and Blake Small from this year’s graduating class both played with the U18 AAA Lloydminster Bobcats hockey franchise.
Next up were the U9 Girls Jets hockey team were winners of the Ice Melter tournament in Camrose and they earned the instant respect of the crowd.
Mr. Duffett then called the Sr. Boys basketball team to the stage and congratulated them on a successful season.
Last but not least, all local and school teams that won banners this season were called to the stage, an incredible number of teams including the: Tier 1 U11 Hughenden Jets hockey team, Tier 1 boys U15 Wainwright hockey team, Tier 4 Boys U15 Wainwright hockey team, Tier 3 U18 Wainwright hockey team, Jr. Boys Wildcats basketball team, and the Jr. Girls Wildcats basketball team.
“It was awesome to see the whole school gather together to celebrate our successes in and out of school.” said Mr. Morgan Beatty, Social Studies and Phys. Ed. teacher.
Student,Jace Lomheim of the Grade 9 class said, “It was a good setup by the teachers, very thoughtful and for the first time in many years it was exciting to part of.”