Winter Pep Assembly Commemorates the Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Game

Liberty’s spirit was shown off at the event, held in honor of the Coaches vs. Cancer game to be held on Jan. 6 by playing knockout, dancing, and having fun together


Monica Reyes

(Left to right) Mr. Barker and co-host of the winter pep assembly, senior Aidan Berry, converse with one another after the staff and cheer dance performance. Mr. Barker was also congratulated in front of the school body for winning District Teacher of the Year.

Loukya Vaka, Reporter

Cancer affects the lives of many in the world, so much so that the fight to save lives from this disease becomes more personal for all. Liberty held their Coaches vs. Cancer pep assembly on Thursday, Jan. 6 to continue the tradition of showing off school spirit while honoring the important work done at the Coaches vs. Cancer game.

Mr. Stoll, a teacher who watched the pep assembly, talked about why he felt it’s important for the school to participate in the Coaches vs. Cancer program. He thought that “it really puts a humanizing face on the illness and allows people to participate and make a difference.”  

At the beginning of the pep assembly, Coach Sodemann came up to speak about the importance of getting involved in this important cause. Sodemann explained that, “Coaches vs. Cancer is an organization that falls under the American Cancer Society. It was started by the University of Missouri’s legendary basketball coach, Norm Stewart, who was also a cancer survivor. He wanted a way to educate people about cancer. It’s an organization that raises money, does research, and also provides services for people who have cancer. There’s a whole gambit of stuff that they do.”

Sodemann also talked about the importance of schools participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer program. 

“When we looked at the show of hands at the assembly yesterday, you can see the amount of people that are impacted by cancer, and it seems to be such a high number whether it be a family member, friend, or whoever. We all know someone who has or is impacted by cancer. I think it’s important because we’re able to raise money, we’re able to provide services to the people that need help, and it’s just a positive thing to give back to the community.”

After, the school recognized the hardworking winter athletes and seniors at our school, and the pep assembly continued with an energetic knockout competition between staff members, basketball players, and students who were picked from the crowd, with Mr. Walterbach coming out of the competition victorious.

This year, the special tradition known as the Parting of the Red Sea continued as the Seniors were “parted” by the student who was dressed up as Moses, co-host, senior Ryan Casteel.  

Senior Stuco members Allison Quirk and Laney Torbit begin to bow at the end of their final dancing performance. (Sophie Hegyi)

Dancing was also a big part of this pep assembly. From the Liberty Belles, to the staff and even StuCo joining in, many people were getting on the gym floor to trip the light fantastic!

Grace Richardson, a junior, is a member of StuCo who participated in the StuCo dance. Richardson talked about how the dance was a highlight of her experience at the pep assembly. 

“For me, personally, it was the StuCo because I got to participate in it, and it was my first year in StuCo so I was very excited,” Richardson said.

StuCo as a whole worked incredibly hard to make this event possible for everyone to see. Their efforts are what made this school event, along with many others, successful.

Senior Aidan Berry, the co-host of the pep assembly, explained what goes on behind the scenes of the pep assembly.

“We went through this assembly four to five times, had to write the script,” Berry said. “You have to be in communication with everyone that participated in the assembly, and we all had to practice. So, it’s a lot of the behind the scenes work that people don’t see that goes into putting these on.”  

This Liberty event was a great way to celebrate the decade of academic success, strong relationships, and simple fun that comes with being an Eagle. Through this event the school body honored and was educated on the Coaches vs. Cancer program as well as why it’s so crucial to get involved so that more people in our community and world can be saved.

“For over 25 years, the Coaches vs. Cancer program, in collaboration with the NABC, has united coaches and fans nationwide to help the American Cancer Society defeat a common enemy – cancer,” the National Association of Basketball Coaches states.

This special program helps make the lives of the many who are affected by cancer easier by helping them recover, find the needed cures, and fight against this disease. 

By working with this company for three whole years, Liberty continuously fights to make the world less affected by cancer. Throughout the week, the school has currently raised $538, a substantial amount that will surely add to the entire cause.