After losing their streak last year, Simpson Res­i­dence took the Spirit Week trophy once more. Courtesy | Alaura Gage

Stu­dents filled the bleachers of the football stadium on the evening of March 6 for the crowning moment of spring Spirit Week. Seniors Jonathan Burton and Michaela Stiles were announced as king and queen. Simpson Res­i­dence won Spirit Week overall.

Stiles, a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, said she was shocked to be nom­i­nated for queen in the first place.

“When I found out I was nom­i­nated by Pi Phi to be on the court, I was very sur­prised,” Stiles said. “I love my house, I love the values that we stand for, and I felt so honored to rep­resent my house on home­coming court.”

Stiles said she felt very sup­ported by her friends and family and was honored to stand alongside so many out­standing people. 

“For all those who voted for me, I just want to say a sincere thank you,” Stiles said. “I am so proud to be a Hills­dalian, I am so proud of the quality people at this school, and am beyond honored to rep­resent my school as Spirit Week queen.”

Burton, a line­backer on the football team, also said he was honored to be nom­i­nated to the court. His family was excited for his accom­plishment, he said, and now jok­ingly calls him “Your Royal Highness.”

“I couldn’t really tell who was going to win. I had a couple front runners in my mind, but it was really cool being rec­og­nized by my class­mates,” Burton said. “The student section cheering in the bleachers was the first thing I heard after my name was announced, so I’d say I was pretty thrilled. I def­i­nitely had some adren­aline going.”

Fol­lowing the announcement of the royalty, the much-antic­i­pated Mock Rock dance com­pe­tition began. Each team got a chance to display its stunts, tricks, and syn­chro­nization in hopes of swaying judges Jeffrey “Chief” Rogers, asso­ciate dean of men; his wife Roma Rogers, the program manager and internship coor­di­nator for Career Ser­vices; and Mindy Poole, special pro­grams coordinator.

Juniors Aidan Cyrus and Jane O’Connor also took the floor to emcee the evening. 

“I had fun. Jane and I are good buds so that doubled the fun,” Cyrus said. “And some people thought our dumb jokes were rel­a­tively funny so, you know, that tripled the fun. All in all, Mock Rock is a great activity for the family.”

Team Dob, a new team this year, took third place. Their dance included a battle between an alien and the team members and ended with the alien defeated. 

Whit-Wat-Way won second place and sur­prised the crowd when each member pulled out a flash light at the same time to tran­sition to a space-themed track. Numerous teams fea­tured a Taylor Swift throwback, and Whit-Way-Way danced to “Shake It Off.” The kicker of their per­for­mance was bringing out card­board cutouts of a futur­istic Central Hall, which tied in with the futur­istic theme they painted on their banner. 

Finally, after a his­toric loss last year, Simpson came back better than before to reclaim the Spirit Week trophy. They won first place and already have their eye on starting a new streak of victories. 

“We wanted our trophy back badly; that def­i­nitely was a driving force for those com­peting for our dorm this year, espe­cially the guys who remember losing last year,” said Caleb Lam­brecht, a senior and four-year Simpson res­ident. “However, the dorm’s purpose is not winning tro­phies, and our guys under­stand that.”

Simpson started its dance with a tower of men metic­u­lously stacked on top of each other, spinning around to the beat of “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd. Their routine included several waves, stunts, outfit changes, colored powder, and even Irish dancing. 

“These guys love each other and worked so incredibly hard to win for one another,” Lam­brecht said. “That made ral­lying the dorm an absolute joy. To see our guys display enthu­siasm and spirit rooted in an appre­ci­ation and care for our com­munity was incredible.”

Lam­brecht said he was at first sur­prised that Simpson had won but quickly rushed the field to cel­e­brate with the dorm. 

“Ini­tially, I was absolutely shocked,” Lam­brecht said. “I’m pretty sure I came across as com­pletely inco­herent and crazy for about ten minutes. I wanted to get this win for them, to reward them for all their hard work and to put a seal on the com­munity and cama­raderie we had built up over the past two weeks.”

Though home­coming is typ­i­cally a fall event, the Student Activ­ities Board was able to provide stu­dents with a spring Spirit Week that still accom­plished its typical events. Even with changes like holding Mock Rock on the football field rather than inside the Roche Sports Complex, many stu­dents par­tic­i­pated and enjoyed the week. 

“All things con­sidered, I think it went really well,” Zane Mabry, director of student activ­ities for the SAB, said. “There were enough people that showed up and enough of a crowd that it made it really fun. The stu­dents made it a better atmosphere.”

The evening ended when Simpson was announced as the Spirit Week champion. Mabry said he was excited to see so many groups rally together throughout the week. 

“It was really rewarding to see that everyone put aside their busy schedules and par­tic­ipate and really give it their all,” Mabry said. “It’s a good bonding expe­rience for campus, and a good bonding expe­rience for SAB.”

Home­coming 2021 is scheduled to take place this coming  fall as usual, though this decision is open to change, Mabry said. 

“Hope­fully it will look more normal, and as far as I know at least right now that is what we’re fighting for,” Mabry said. “But it’s very up in the air.”