This Friday, the traditional pep rally “Rally in the Valley” will be held Friday evening in Rec Hall in support of the Penn State football team for Saturday's game against Ohio State University.
Co-sponsored by Penn State's student chapter of the Alumni Association, the Blue and White Society, and Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, Rally in the Valley will present many different acts for student's entertainment. Some of these will include appearances by the Penn State Lionettes Dance Team, Penn State cheerleaders, the Blue Band and more.
However, Alex Beebe, public relations officer for the Blue and White Society, said that the “highlight of the event” will the appearance of head coach Bill O'Brien, and his Penn State Nittany Lions.
“It is one of the first times he will be speaking directly to the student body so it will be a great way for him to connect with students,” Beebe (senior-journalism) said. “The message he sends to the students at the rally will definitely set the tone for the rest of the football season.”
Penn State Head Basketball Coach, Patrick Chambers, will introduce Coach Bill O’Brien, followed by the football team, during the rally.
However, getting the football team to be able to be present at the event was not an easy task. Blue and White Society Committee Chair for Rally in the Valley Stefano DiPeitro said that initially the football team was not going to attend the rally.
DiPeitro said that O'Brien has a strict schedule and that Rally in the Valley originally was supposed to start at 8 p.m.
“After the Iowa game on Sunday, on my way back from canning, I got the call that the football team now was going to come, so we had to push the time to 6:30,” DiPeitro (sophomore-meteorology) said.
DiPeitro said that it was the spirit of the event and the win against Iowa that made O’Brien change his mind and allow the football players to be present at the event.
“Once he realized after the Iowa game that this rally is just as much for the players as it is for the students and State College community, he said that the players could come now,” DiPeitro said. “All of the football players are so excited to come.”
President of the Blue and White Society Leslie Pinero said that she is excited to see O'Brien speak because it will be breaking past tradition.
“I'm really excited to see [O'Brien] speak because it has always been Joe Paterno, and this is the first time he'll be here,” Pinero (senior-journalism) said. “I'm excited to see how he'll attract students for the first time.”
Upon arrival to the Rec Hall Friday evening, students will be able to enjoy music played out front by local radio stations, as well as a new attraction coming to Rally in the Valley this year.
Free T-shirts and shakers will also be distributed to students who attend the event.
“This year there will be a lot more new videos than previous years, and also for the first time, the Nittanyville Drum Line will be there,” DiPeitro said.
Beebe said that this year’s turnout at Rally in the Valley, due to the pivotal year Penn State has experienced, will show how loyal students are to the team and to the school.
“This event is very important for students to attend because it is an opportunity for the Penn State community to come together as a whole and support our football team,” Beebe said. “The team has gone through a lot of changes this year, and we need to show them that we support them, regardless of the circumstances.”