Penn State Men’s Soccer wins 2022 THON Pep Rally With Electrifying Performance
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Men’s Soccer reigned supreme on Saturday night as it captured the 2022 THON Pep Rally championship.
The defending “in-person” champion Men’s Gymnastics was not in attendance, but Men’s Soccer stole the show and the crowd’s love with its electrifying performance.
After a virtual pep rally last year, students packed a whiteout crowd inside the Bryce Jordan Center, except for a small pocket of a yellow 5-0, to symbolize the 50th year of THON.
To start off, Penn State’s cheerleading team took the stage to the tune of “Fight on State,” and other Beaver Stadium classics. At times, it felt like a fall-Saturday in Happy Valley. It quickly got the already pumped-up crowd more electrified and started things off strong. Following that, Penn State’s mic man took the stage and asked the crowd...
“Are you ready for the THON Pep Rally?”
As more Beaver Stadium classics rung out, the crowd traded in the classic “Let’s go P-S-U” for “Let’s go F-T-K.” Following that, the lights dimmed, and a hype video played. Then, flashlights shined as “All of the Lights” played. It truly felt like a Saturday night at Beaver Stadium.
Mitch Geber was introduced as the Pep Rally emcee, and he continued to pump the crowd up. Gerber introduced Athletic Director Sandy Barber and Head Football Coach James Franklin.
“I appreciate you guys making me feel at home with the whiteout going on,” Franklin said. “It makes me feel great to be back in person at the most important event we have going on. This is the thing that defines Penn State and makes Penn State so special.”
Franklin then introduced a special guest in Super Bowl LVI Champion Nick Scott. Scott flew into State College on a redeye flight Friday night less than one-week after winning the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams.
“My wife and I danced in THON and this is our favorite experience we had together,” Scott said.
After the judges were introduced, it was time to get the Pep Rally started. But before that, there was another surprise in store. Gerber introduced Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth.
Men’s golf led things off with a dance rendition featuring songs such as, “Dynamite,” “Timber,” “Firework” and more. Next up was Women’s Lacrosse performing to “Feel this Moment.” Two performances to start off and get the crowd going.
Big Ten Champion Men’s Soccer took the stage next with a performance that featured piggyback rides, flips and a performance to Pitbull’s “Fireball”, in addition to “Hips Don’t Lie.” Women’s Volleyball took the stage next for its first performance in the post-Russ Rose era. Volleyball’s performance started with references from “Sidetalk,” and a collection of other songs, including “Zombie Nation.”
Women’s Basketball Head Coach Carolyn Kieger took the stage and brought some of her legendary “J.U.I.C.E.” to the Bryce Jordan Center. Following Kieger, Men’s Fencing took the stage. They broke out the fencing masks and pool noodles.
While it may be a little too cold outside for golf, Penn State Women’s Golf brought the heat inside with a performance from “High School Musical.” Women’s Soccer took the stage next to “Seven Nation Army.” Then “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida and various other songs including “Levitating” and “I Gotta Feeling” jammed out over the speakers as soccer’s routine began.
Former Penn State Quarterback Trace McSorley made a quick virtual stop to the Pep Rally.
“THON is so special,” McSorley said. “You guys keep grinding; you know what it’s all for.”
“Halfway There” then played as Women’s Fencing took the stage for its appearance. They performed to some Pitbull songs, including “Hotel Motel Holiday Inn” and “Fireball.”
Up next was Women’s Tennis who started their routine with “POWER” by Kanye West and that was followed up by another rendition of “All of the Lights.”
The next special guest was Penn State Basketball Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry who is experiencing his first THON since being hired by Penn State last spring.
“When they told me about THON when I got here, they said this place is special,” Shrewsberry said. “Until I walked in and saw everybody out here, this place is special.”
After saying he wouldn’t be good enough to do a dance move, he introduced Women’s Field Hockey who stole the show with their moves on the stage. Following that, the mic man was back on the stage and led the crowd in a chant for its favorite mascot.
“We want the Lion,” the crowd exclaimed.
In honor of the 46-hour dance marathon, the Nittany Lion dropped down and gave the crowd 46 one-armed pushups.
In only made sense the next team up was Penn State football, who’s performance absolutely rocked the crowd inside the Bryce Jordan Center. Following them, was Women’s Hockey, fresh off a victory earlier in the day. They entered to “Fight on State” and sported neon shirts. The team’s routine concluded with “All I do is Win.”
As the performances concluded, the judges began to tally the votes while the Penn State Lionettes performed on stage. The finalists were Men’s Soccer and Women’s Soccer, two teams who are very familiar with one another. Following their second performances, the judges met one more time to tally votes.
And the winner was…
Penn State Men’s Soccer!
The team took the stage as “We Are the Champions” played over the loudspeaker! Finally, the Pep Rally concluded with everyone in the Bryce Jordan Center joining together in singing Penn State’s Alma Mater.
Jake Starr is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalist. To contact him, email email@example.com.