SCHS moves annual community gathering to Old Mill Square – Shelby County Reporter
SCHS moves annual community gathering to Old Mill Square
Posted 7:28 p.m. on Friday, August 26, 2022
By SASHA JOHNS | Special for the journalist
COLOMBIAN – As the Columbiana saying goes, “Once a wildcat, always a wildcat.” This is especially true during the annual Community Pep Rally, which is traditionally held on Main Street.
This year, however, the cheer rally was moved to Old Mill Square where it allowed fans to spread out and gave teams the opportunity to be visually seen in groups, but also as one student body at the time. The effect was great and seemed well received in a community where traditions are important. Shelby County High School is not only the county seat high school, but also the oldest high school in the county.
The evening began with a welcome from Councilor Ricky Ruston who thanked everyone for coming. Next, Maelyn Kirkland, captain of the cheerleading squad, was introduced as the reigning Miss SCHS 2022-23, who by tradition serves as the school’s hostess at various events each year.
Kirkland immediately stepped into his new position by fulfilling his first obligation of the year, hosting the event. One by one, she introduced high school principal Kyle Dudley, middle school principal Dustin Smith, and every coach and team for the fall sports lineup.
As coaches from the volleyball, cross country, cheerleading, squad, and college and high school football teams took the stage, they thanked community supporters, shared their goals for the new school year, and introduced seniors as leaders to the student body of their chosen sport. The cheerleaders led a season-ready crowd to cheers between each team’s introduction.
Just before the football team’s introduction, band Pride of Shelby County gave fans a preview of their new halftime program, “Hero’s Don’t Need Capes,” led by second-in-command drum major year, Abby Nave. Group director Matt Martindale shared with the crowd that the program is a tribute to everyday local heroes, such as first responders and others who protect and serve our community every day.
The pep rally ended with Bobby Fryer, also known as Wiley the Wildcat, the SCHS mascot, leading students and fans in singing the school’s alma mater. The current student body linked arms and swayed back and forth singing the familiar song, former students in the crowd could also be heard singing.
The beautiful evening and new venue created a night of spirit and community that helped kick off the Shelby County Wildcats season.