2023 started off with a bang at the middle and high school with Spirit Week on the second week of the semester. This year’s theme was “Before They Were Famous,” which featured what fast food chain mascots were doing before the chains became multi-billion dollar businesses. Every day that week, grades 9 through 12 came together for an all-school assembly, vying to win the Mana Cup, which is awarded to the most spirited class at the end of the week.

DAY 1: Tug-of-War

In the first assembly of the week, girls and boys teams from each grade battled their counterparts from another grade in a Tug-of-War challenge. (Below, left to right) Juniors Preston Gonzalez, Torin Hayashi, Tate Coulter, Sean Tanji, and Peyton Chung fought hard against the senior boys but failed to prevail in the battle of strength and endurance. This year’s winners were: senior boys; junior girls; freshmen boys, freshmen girls, and 8th grade girls and boys. 

Left to right: Juniors Preston Gonzalez, Torin Hayashi, Tate Coulter, Sean Tanji, Peyton Chung strain against the pull of the senior boys in Tug-of-War. Photograph by Dilan Chock-Makiya (’23)

DAY 2: Table Surfing

Table Surfing was a new challenge in this year’s Spirit Week, but students didn’t hesitate to go all-in to use their bodies to move an upturned table with a classmate on board in a race against time across the gym. Each class had 20 student volunteers lie down on the floor and one student on a table. Table Surfing replaced the traditional Platform Jam, where each grade tries to get as many people as they can onto a stage platform. The seniors finished with the fastest time, with the juniors, 7th & 8th graders (as one team), freshmen, and sophomores finishing after them, respectively.

Seniors Isabella Olivera (on table), Joshua Kusuda (standing right), Kaeden Miyoi (standing left), (left to right, lying down) Jackson Lincoln, Dawson Coover, and Shane Kawakami-Williams race to get to the end of the gym in the Table Surfing game. Photograph by Dilan Chock-Makiya (’23)

Day 3: Glow-in-the-dark Capture-the-Flag

The Glow-in-the-dark Capture-the-Flag assembly was a fan favorite judging by the excitement seen during the event. For the first time in Spirit Week history, black lights illuminated the gym, which was filled with students dressed in white and neon colors. Teams from each grade played Capture-the-Flag under the black lights, each trying to win points by stealing flags from other players while protecting their own. The overall winners of the event were the seniors.

Sophomore Cole Carson celebrates as his team earns a point during the Capture-the-Flag game. Before the assembly, the student council gave out neon face paint and glow sticks to everyone. Photograph by Dilan Chock-Makiya (’23)
Led by their mascots, the juniors cheer during the break between a Capture-the-flag game. Photograph by Noah Hu (’23)

Day 4: Pepper Squad

Out of all the days of Spirit Week, the Thursday assembly requires the most preparation as each grade has to perform an original Pepper Squad skit and a class cheer. This year, the classes had to tell the back story of fast food mascots, featuring the theme “Before They Were Famous.” The middle school Pepper Squad told the story of Ronald McDonald and Jack in the Box, while the freshmen gave their take on the origins of Wendy’s and the frosty. The sophomores traveled to Rome to tell the story of Little Caesar (of Little Ceasars), and the juniors showed how Colonel Sanders challenged Popeye to make the best fried chicken. The seniors featured all the fast food mascots in their skit and told the story of how Angus became the (Burger) King over all other fast food chain mascots.

The senior Pepper Squad skit featured mascots from other fast food chains and showcased an underdog (Angus) who is called to step up and lead the kingdom of Greaseland. Photograph by Noah Hu (’23)
The sophomore class performs their cheer at the end of their Pepper Squad, led by their mascot Little Ceasar (front middle, played by Xan Waialeale). To his right is classmate Randie Lueder, who played a Greek goddess, and to his left in blue is Lydia Halcomb, who played Little Caesar’s mother. Photograph by Noah Hu (’23)

Day 5: All-School Cheer & Results

The final assembly of Spirit Week started off with celebrating the girls and boys basketball teams. These teams would play in their Homecoming Night matches that evening. During the assembly, classes had their final chance to win spirit points by performing cheers led by the HBA cheerleading team.

HBA cheerleaders led the school in a series of cheers during the all-school cheer assembly. Photograph by Dilan Chock-Makiya (’23)
The Class Council gives candy lei to the girls varsity basketball team and wishes them good luck for the championship game that they would play that evening at Homecoming Night. Photograph by Dilan Chock-Makiya (’23)