School hosts Fanatic Fest


Abigail Hailu/Chronicle

Fall sports team captains play a round of dodgeball against a team of teachers.

Abigail Hailu

Upper school students, faculty and staff gathered for the all-school annual Fanatic Fest in Taper Gymnasium held by the Prefect Council on Oct. 1. Prefect Council organized the event in which members held games and competitions to foster school spirit for the upcoming homecoming games. Members of the community dressed in school colors, with the senior class dressed in black, juniors in white and sophomores in red.

Cheerleaders of the Spirit Squad welcomed students as they entered the gym and gathered in the grade-designed seating sections. The event spotlighted school mascot Buddy Wolverine’s journey to defeat Mary Star of the Sea High School’s mascot Mary Star. Junior Prefect and Assistant Features Editor Harry Tarses ’23 narrated Buddy Wolverine’s arm wrestling match against Mary Star. Head Fanatics performed in the center of the gym, holding the match and acting out a dual between Mary Star and Buddy the Wolverine.

After losing the match, Buddy Wolverine was cheered on by the Head Fanatics and the football team presented a video montage of Buddy’s training for the rematch against Mary Star.

Afterward, fall sports team captains competed against teachers in a dodgeball game. The Head Fanatics and team captains used these games to support and motivate students to win against Mary Star of the Sea’s football team during this year’s homecoming fair.

The Fanatic Fest culminated a week of themed spirit days such as Pajama Day, East Coast Prep Day and Throwback Thursday.

Head Fanatics dress up as supporters of Mary Star of the Sea High School’s mascot. (Abigail Hailu/Chronicle)

Head Fanatic Juliana Ross ’21 said she believes the Fanatic Fest boosted school spirit heading into Homecoming.

“I definitely think that this year’s Fanatic Fest increased school and community spirit,” Ross said. “It brought together all three grades we have on campus, and it was really encouraging to see everyone dressed up in their grade’s colors. Our goals for the Fanatic Fest were simply to uplift the crowds, be inclusive and be loud.”

History teacher Dr. Peter Sheehy said the event’s structure and presentation was memorable.

“The most memorable ‘moment’ of the Fanatic Fest was actually the format of the event itself,” Sheehy said. “As Mr. Commons noted, it was vintage HW for us to hold a pep rally that was structured as a play with four acts. What a great way to celebrate our scholar-athletes. Kudos to Harry for his great narration.”

Avery Azad ’24 said this year’s Fanatic Fest generated school spirit.

“I really enjoyed seeing the Harvard-Westlake spirit, and the ways students showed their enthusiasm towards it,” Azad said.