All-American glamour peps up rainy day


“OH MY God you guys, it’s an Irish rainbow!” said one high school student. The weather did nothing to dispel any American visitor’s preconceptions as the lively group marched towards Trinity College Dublin.

Marching bands, high school students and cheerleaders brought some all-American glamour to an otherwise dull Thursday afternoon as they gave a “pep rally” from Grafton Street to the university ahead of the Emerald Isle American football classic between Navy and Notre Dame tomorrow.

A pep rally is is designed to show support before a big game and is a North American tradition.

Kayla Shaw from Chandler, Arizona, plays in her high school band. “We pretty much march and play peppy music – it gets people hyped up. If it rains, the woodwinds will freak out because it will get into their instruments,” she said.

Other high school cheerleaders from Arizona taking part included Maddy Fraiser, Olivia Gleeson, Caitlin Kearney, Cassidy Williams. One passerby almost walked into a lamp post at St Stephen’s Green looking at the vision of deep tans, dazzling white teeth and short costumes.

“I love the weather, we don’t get weather like this in Arizona,” said one visitor. “It’s so green. We’ve been to the Cliffs of Moher and had a tour of the Aviva stadium. It’s awesome.”

Dallas Ryan and Trevor Lee from Arizona were there to support their high school.

“The weather has stayed well for us so far. We’ve seen UCD and Trinity. We’re really impressed with Ireland. The big match is going to be awesome. It’ll be fun to watch.”

The pep rally marched to Trinity College and assembled in the front square. Cheerleaders sat on the shoulders of their male friends while others cartwheeled over the cobbles. The marching band performed a crowd-pleasing version of Party Rock Anthem.

Amy Sinko, colourguard (flag- spinning) captain for Notre Dame, said Ireland was beautiful. “This is my first time here,” she said. “I love everything I’ve seen so far. Basically at a pep rally we play peppy music and get everyone pumped up for the game tomorrow night and making sure we leave an imprint.

“We’re nervous, we hear the other team is pretty good so they’ll be going all out,” she said.

Kelly Gleeson and Loretta O’Malley are visiting from Chicago. “Our sons – Fran O’Malley and Jack Gleeson – are playing in the high school football tournament. They’re from the Loyola Academy in Chicago,” they said.

“We have relatives in Ireland so it’s wonderful that we can come here and visit them and watch the football. It’s our first time here and it’s beautiful. It’s everything we were told it would be.

“The restaurants, the countryside, the city – Trinity College is gorgeous. We have been made feel right at home. The people here are so friendly.”