BOB 2022: Mark Your Calendars!

Written by: Niyanthri

Edited by: Erich

Visual by: Owen

Wild cheering. The sound of feet pounding in the hallways. Waves of yellow, green, white, and black. It’s that time of year again: the Battle of the Bearcats (BOB) is fast approaching! 

Often fondly recalled as the most memorable day of the school year by many high school students, BOB will be taking place this year on Wednesday, September 28th. An intense battle between the four high school batches for the trophy, it creates an environment filled with competitive spirit. However, there is also underlying unity as the entirety of high school comes together to make this a day worth remembering, as high school looks to restart the vibrant traditions of live BOB. 

There is also a variety of exciting activities students can choose to participate in for BOB 2022, ranging from trivia competitions to sports, tailored to suit everyone’s interests. In this  regard, faculty members have been essential to organising these events and making BOB happen. Nonetheless, the efforts of each of the grade level councils also contributed to making sure it will be the spirited event students know and love. Councils were faced with a number of challenges along the way as they prepared for this year’s BOB, which will be the first one in person for many students. Soheon, a freshman cabinet member, says that “the most difficult part of the planning process was making sure that the event meets everyone’s expectations. As a freshman, this is also my first time experiencing BOB, and we are all looking forward to it. Ensuring that everything is in order, like the activities not overlapping or that all the materials needed for the events are prepared, was particularly challenging. I hope everyone enjoys the event as much as the council did… planning it!” 

Similarly, Poorna, a member of the senior council, noted that “the hardest part of BOB was… finding a way to coordinate all the things going on. We needed to organise our chant, find and teach instrument players, create banners, raise spirit, create promotional material and more which took a lot of logistical work on the Senior Council’s end.” The logistical coordination and organisational aspects clearly take work, but raising batch spirit and ensuring that BOB is enjoyable for all students in the batch is evidently also a large part of what makes the event so successful in terms of raising school spirit, and it could not have been done without the hard work of the four class councils. 

Despite the large amount of organisation needed to make sure BOB goes off without a hitch, it is also a rewarding experience for those planning it. Marny, a junior class council member, exclaims, “the Junior batch is running wild with spirit! We’re so excited to compete, collaborate, and cheer with other grades,” showing that they are able to feel the infectious excitement of their batch leading up to the event. This will be the first in-person BOB in two years, and the first such one for the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors; as Marny continues, “since this is our first in-person BOB, we definitely will give it our all. Watch out, Bearcats!” The anticipation for BOB is certainly ramping up as each batch prepares to outperform the rest.

Yet another much looked forward to event in BOB is So You Think You Can Dance?, also known as BOB dance. Each grade level choreographs and performs a unique dance number no longer than five minutes, created and practised well in advance. The long preparation time also makes it one of the most eagerly anticipated BOB events. Dances are judged by a panel of teachers. Sydney, a sophomore who will be participating in the event, states that “we’ve been preparing for BOB dance for a month now,” showing the time commitment that the event requires in order to learn the choreography, refine it, and ensure that it fits within the strict time limit. Overall, like every event in BOB, there’s a strong emphasis on unity and batch spirit, made possible by the involvement of both students and teachers alike

A member of the senior dance team, Alexa states that the group has “been preparing since the summer. It was mostly just logistical planning during July, and then we dove into choreographing, blocking, and teaching as soon as school started. The beginning of senior year is really busy, which is why it was essential that we got an early start!” Despite having numerous other responsibilities, it is evident that the seniors have been practising hard for their final BOB dance. Alexa adds, “the best part of the process was working with such an awesome group of people for the last time. I’ve been dancing and choreographing for BOB Dance since my freshman year, so it’s really sentimental for our whole team to see it come full circle. We’ve definitely come a long way since then,” The seniors, she notes, “are feeling super excited! This is our last BOB Dance, and we are going to give it our all.” Clearly, BOB dance is a large commitment for all involved, but this is part of what makes it such an important and special event for both spectators and participants.

Overall, BOB 2022 looks set to be an unforgettable experience for all high school students, owing to the involvement of faculty, administrators, members of student leadership, and the student body as a whole. Not only is the event itself a show of unity and school spirit, the organisation and collaboration required to make it happen also brings Bearcats closer together. As BOB draws closer and closer, it’s finally time for all high school students to be ready to bring every bit of the enthusiasm that makes BOB the incredibly special ISM tradition that it is!