By Maddy Vitale
‘You got this. You can fly,” was the message at the Ocean City Primary School today in a spirited rally for the “underdog” of both the Eagles, as they head to the Super Bowl, and animals at the Humane Society of Ocean City that students are donating items to such as food, blankets and toys.
Cheers for the Eagles, dancing, a football toss, and a large donation of pretzels in the shape of dog bones from the Philly Pretzel Factory for all of the students for giving to the shelter, started the weekend off with lots of smiles, cheers and laughter.
Principal Cathy Smith emphasized in the rally the importance of knowing what the theme of the program – the underdog, is really all about.
“We all have been the underdog. Each day we have to dig deep and believe in ourselves, just like the Eagles,” Smith said.
She explained how the Eagles were told after each game, “‘You’re not going to win this game.’ And they did.” And then the next game, ‘You’re not going to win the game.’ And they did,” Smith shouted into the microphone. “There are times you might think you won’t be able to do this, say, ‘I got this.’”
The room full of students yelled back, “I got this.”
“Then turn to the person next to you and say, ‘You got this,’” Smith told the students.
Students turned to each other and said, “You got this.”
Marley Dwyer, 8, a second-grader at the Primary School, plays flag football in Ocean City, and is so good she has won punt, pass and kick competitions done through the NFL. She wants to be the first female NFL quarterback.
The principal called Marley up to the middle of the room, to applause from the students. She told them that Marley could be considered an underdog to play football, she is small, yet she is a great player.
“Believe you could be whatever you want to be,” Smith said.
Technology teacher Randy Kohr got everyone motivated to try their hand at the football toss. Dressed as a referee, he joked that the Eagles wanted him to play and then he air-balled a football, which was met by laughter. Students took turns with the football. A few of them made it in the metal stand with narrow openings, but even though there wasn’t much success, they had fun.
First-grade teacher Erin Porter wore an eagle mask. She got the football in the slat on the first try. Throughout the program the Ocean City High School Red Raiders mascot entertained the crowd.
Kohr and Carrie Merritt, a first-grade teacher dressed in her Eagles-wear, which included paper wings and green face paint, pumped up the students and faculty with their antics.
Merritt joked, “I can’t get that tune out of my head.”
Then she and the crowd did the E-A-G-L-E-S chant.
It really turned into a football-themed dance party when the song “Who Let the Dogs Out” came on.
It appeared that just about everyone in the room – there were a few hundred got out on the floor, raised their arms high in the air and danced.
While the program was about fun, and support for the favored team in these parts to win the big game, Smith stressed that collecting items for the Humane Society is an important objective and the school will participate in the donation throughout the month. While collection of kitty litter, dog and cat food, blankets and toys is going well, they have raised just around $100 and hope that number increases by the end of the month.
School guidance counselor Joel Dougan remarked that it was really good to tie-in the Super Bowl with the collection for the shelter, in hopes that more people will learn about it and give to the shelter.
Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Taylor summed up what the event really meant.
It was a definite showing of the caring students and school staff in the district, she said.
“I think the spirit of our students to support the animals in the Humane Society is wonderful. And I think the whole message today that, ‘You got this,’ and ‘You can fly,’ supports what we are all about and what the Eagles are all about.”