Pep squad lifts school spirit


Matt Stepp

At halftime, PEP squad, Pirates with Exceptional Pride, performed to Let’s Groove by Earth, Wind & Fire.

Mckenna Smith, Sport’s Editor

The crowd goes wild as the assembly continues on to its very last performance of the day from a club well known throughout the school not because of their choreography but because of the people performing. This would be Palatine’s most spirited club, the PEP squad, a club adored by everyone but not understood by all. 

“We are the heart and spirit of the school,” coach Zyrkowski said, “We like to support different events in the school as well as perform at different events during the year.” 

Zyrkowski has been coaching this team for three years now and has done a lot of hard work choreographing and teaching these dances to the students, apart from one special performance each year, the homecoming dance. Each year PEP squad performs a new dance choreographed by varsity poms and color guard to showcase at our homecoming game. 

“It’s a really fun opportunity with the coordinator Miss Zyrkowski,” senior choreographer Jenna Perkovich said. “The kids love it so it’s always fun to spend time and work with them.” 

Jenna Perkovich has been a part of this team for four years and got the privilege of choreographing this year’s performance. She has many memories of this club but loves performing with them the most. 

“My favorite part is at the end of the performance when like five kids come up and hug me,” Perkovich said. 

Although Zyrkorski hasn’t been a coach for long she also has a favorite memory that happened at last year’s variety show. 

“At last year’s show the music started in the middle of the song and then stopped,” Zyrkorski said, “When the music started again the students just started right in and knew exactly what to do which is hard for anyone to do so I was very proud.”

PEP squad is a great opportunity for all students at PHS but the special education performers benefit greatly from this club. 

“We have a lot of students who struggle with talking and being social so this club really helps them meet other students and express themselves,” Zyrkorski said. “Also we have a lot of students with a lot of hidden talent so they can now be highlighted too,” Zyrkorski said. 

Sierra Hanson, a student performer in the PEP squad, danced for years before coming to PHS and has been in the PEP squad all four years of high school. She shows her appreciation for this club by shaking her Pom Poms and keeping a big smile on her face.

“I love PEP squad,” Hanson said. 

PEP squad performs at many events during the year so make sure you catch them at a basketball game or variety show later in the year.