Sophomores dominated Spirit Week 2014 in three of four major categories: All-School Cheer, Mascot, and Pepper Squad, giving them the victory and the Mana Cup.

They finished with a total of 305 points, while the seniors finished with 278 points, and the juniors came in third with 266 points. It was an unexpected win, especially from the perspective of upperclassmen. Junior class president Jaryd Sugihara said, “I don’t think anyone expected the sophomores to come back as strongly as they did.”

“I don’t think anyone expected the sophomores to come back as strongly as they did.”

In the first week back from Winter Break, students began the third quarter of school showing off their athletic workout clothes for Spirit Week. The week allows students to show off their creativity through themed dress up days and competitiveness through student council-led activities each day. This year’s theme was Misunderstood Monsters. “Our inspiration [for] Misunderstood Monsters,” Student Council President Mark Shiroma said, “was a twist on how we always have themes of obvious heroes…cause maybe sometimes we just have to walk in the shoes of other people.” Every grade chose a specific monster to represent them for the week.

The week started off with the familiar Tug-of-War challenge, with seventh grade battling eighth grade, freshmen versus sophomores, and juniors versus seniors. The sophomores led at the end of this day as both the girls and boys won their Tug-of-War events.

On the second day, each grade dressed up according to a specific era. The main event on this day was inspired by the television show, Minute-To-Win-It (MTWI). In MTWI, students had to complete assigned tasks in a minute or less. These tasks ranged from keeping three balloons afloat to removing all the tissues from a Kleenex box one at a time. In previous years, Day Two would feature a relay race instead, with the fastest team receiving the most points. Student Council Tony Traughber explained the change, saying, “The relay had unintentional inconsistencies. [We wanted to] include a good [number] of students and [have] more clarity and decision.”

Sophomore Isabel Wiemken liked the change. “With Minute to Win It,” she said, “everyone was doing the same thing at once and it was so much more organized.” By the end of Tuesday, the competition was stiff, as the sophomores and seniors were separated by only five points.

Wednesday’s dress up theme was Hip-Hop/Diva. Traditionally, there are no activities planned for Day Three, but to keep the momentum continuous, the student council hosted the first-ever eating contest at Spirit Week. Student council president Mark Shiroma described it as a way “to keep the grades pumped.” One student per grade was selected to eat a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, a banana, crackers, Gushers, and drink Kool-Aid and water in the fastest time possible. Senior Micah Ito came in first for the seniors, giving his class a one-point lead in overall points over the sophomores by the end of the day.

Thursday’s assembly showcased each grade’s Pepper Squad, which had to be performed in seven minutes and include the class cheer. Each skit showcased the backstory to the grade’s assigned monster. “This year’s Pepper Squad was different,” said Traughber. “They were much more entertaining and incorporated more dancing.”

“[This year’s pepper squads] were much more entertaining and incorporated more dancing.”

Friday marked the end of the competitive week and students came dressed in HBA school colors—black, white, or gold. The assembly program was jam-packed with two big activities, and introducing the boys and girls basketball team, and the cheerleading team. The program began with Platform Jam, where classes had to fit as many people on a platform as possible and stay on for 30 seconds. After that, each grade performed their version of the All-School Cheer, which was their last opportunity to earn points for the week.

To cap off the day, the girls and boys varsity basketball teams won their respective homecoming games. The girls led the way their entire game, dominating La Pietra 39-7. The boys played Damien in a close, action-packed game. Trailing the entire game, they closed the gap in the fourth quarter, outscoring Damien 18-6. They then pulled out a narrow win in front of a capacity crowd—about 1,000 people—winning 51-48.

As with previous Spirit Weeks, the National Honor Society organized a fundraiser to benefit a non-profit organization. This year, more than $5,000 was collected for ZOE International, an agency that works to save women and children from human trafficking. Grades were also awarded Spirit Week points for their donations.