From video cameos by Pilot Pete and Ali Krieger, to chants, cheers, stunting and tumbling, Penn State student-athletes brought the excitement and screams to the Bryce Jordan Center during their performances Saturday night. The 2020 Pep Rally’s theme was “Going for Gold,” and the competitors sure brought their all.
The Penn State Blue Band, color guard and twirlers, including the Blue Band’s “Blue Sapphire,” kicked off the THON 2020 Pep Rally at 8:20 in front of a crowd led ‘white-out.’ This was later followed by classic game day chants with a THON twist led by the PSU Cheerleading team.
A panel of four judges including Paul Clifford, CEO of the Penn State Alumni Association; PSU wrestling champion Bo Nickal; and kid judges Brayden and McKenna watched on as the athletic teams lined up one-by-one to bring the school spirit to the stage.
Performances included: Men and Women’s Tennis, Men and Women’s Soccer, Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Men and Women’s Golf, Men’s Swim and Dive, Men’s Gymnastics, Women’s Volleyball and the Lionettes.
Matching outfits and synchronized moves weren’t the only things prepared by the teams. Each sport’s medley brought unique elements and incorporated the latest dance trends and music. The crowd cheered to various Kanye West songs, Rocky anthems and TikTok dances, including the “Renegade.” Bringing an extra element of surprise, teams incorporated tumbling, jumps, props and stunts to add to take their performance to another level.
- Guest appearance from former Penn State Olympians, including Jenny Brown, a Gold Medalist swimmer in both 1968 and 1972 who led the crowd in the signature “WE ARE” chant
- A trip to the Wild West brought to you by the Men’s Lacrosse team
- Field Hockey brought comfort and style with a classic “groutfit” sweatpants look
- Women’s Volleyball ended their performance with a Kobe Bryant tribute
- Surprise clothing appearances by Men’s Golf and Women’s Tennis
- Football Players Sean Clifford, Quarterback; Pat Freiermuth, Tight End) and Micah Parsons (linebacker); lead a chant
- Men’s Gymnastics brought their skills to the stage by tumbling and performing partner stunts
Final Two and Winner
After all the teams competed, the judges announced the final two sports who would compete in the Pep Rally championship: Women’s Volleyball and Men’s Gymnastics. Following a repeat of their performances, the crowd was left to vote through the magnitude of their cheers. Multiple teams went for gold, but only one could take it all. Following screams heard all around the BJC, Bo Nickal announced the THON 2020 Pep Rally champions: the now four-time Pep Rally Champions, Men’s Gymnastics.