Prep and Villa collaborate for inaugural Parade of Champions


October 22, 2021

On Oct. 4, Prep and Villa students collaborated on the first-ever Parade of Champions. The event was mainly headed by Villa theology teacher Mr. Joseph Bell, who formed the event as a pep rally shared between Prep and Villa.

“It was really like a hybrid between what we do at Villa with what the Rally Crew does at Prep, and then what other schools do outside of Erie County,” Mr. Bell said. “There’s a lot of other places outside of our community, but since no one has really done this and with the consolidation happening, I talked to some students and they came up with this idea to have some sort of nighttime pep rally.”

Mr. Bell discussed the idea to have the pep rally at night so that parents could experience the thrill of pep rallies again.

“The idea was that if it was late in the evening, parents and alumni can come,” he said. “Pep rallies for school, they’re fun, right? We can still do regular pep rallies because they are a little more intimate because it’s kind of more within the school. But this way, it could be something in the evening so that all those people could remember how much you like the pep rallies.”

Mr. Bell also found it beneficial to have the event at night because with all the attention the event got, it could highlight sports programs at Prep and Villa with minimal attention.

“We chose nighttime because it was advised at six that we really need to make sure that people were able to come,” he said. “So eight o’clock worked really well. There’s also everything about the sports that get lots of good crowds, such as football, soccer, basketball, their games usually start late at night. The thing that kind of motivated it was that there were a lot of sports with smaller crowds like golf, and you can’t really have spectators on the golf course. So, this was a chance for them to kind of have that game-day experience. This way we could honor all sports at the same time. If we had a pep rally for all sports, just practically speaking, would be impossible, because we’d lose so much educational time.”

Mr. Bell also had his worries about if the event would go as smoothly as planned. Fortunately, everything went better than he thought it might be.

“It was the first time we held this, so it’s kind of like ‘Let’s just throw this out there,’” he said. “I mean, two minutes before it started, I still didn’t know. We had a plan, but you know how it is when you never really know what might happen. As Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.’ So we had the plan laid out, and I think it went better than I could’ve imagined.”

Mr. Bell also mentioned that the event will be easier to coordinate when Prep and Villa merge and everyone is in the same building.

“Rally Crew kids figured out that I have to send a lot of emails,” he said. “And when you send a lot of emails, people don’t always read them. So if we’re all in the same building, it’ll make it 100 times easier just to coordinate something like this.”

There was one thing that really stood out to Mr. Bell about the Parade of Champions: that Prep and Villa work extremely well together.

“One thing I’ve learned so far is when you take the efforts of both Prep and Villa, you get pretty good results because you’ve got a lot of people working on it,” he said. “We needed some boys [to help] and they stepped up; we were down a few [helpers] and they just came in and did awesome.”

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