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Mount Dora High community pep rally celebrates student athletes


Mount Dora High School held its first annual CANES pep rally earlier this month to recognize and celebrate the senior student-athletes from the fall sports and to introduce all of the student-athletes from the winter sports.  The gym was packed with students, athletes, parents and fans of the Hurricanes, as well as reporters from the Orlando Sentinel, Channel 9 News and UnderArmour.

Three time American Idol contestant and Mount Dora alum, David Oliver Willis, opened the program by singing the National Anthem.  He then proceeded to lead everyone in singing “Happy Birthday” to assistant athletic director, Veronica Johnson and ROTC teacher, Sgt. Gary Ward.
The MDHS band, led by Yannick Innis, performed several songs while the cheerleaders danced and did some stunts.  They were both very instrumental in getting the crowd excited and on their feet all night.
A special presentation was made to senior football player and UF signee, Brett Heggie, as he has been selected to play in the UnderArmour All-American football game on Jan. 2.  Representatives from UnderArmour were here to present him with his jersey and helmet in recognition of his accomplishments. 
SGA representative, Katie Gagnon, then presented the Jefferson Award to someone who goes out of his way to help the community and the school.  She stated that this person exemplifies what it means to be a Hurricane and he has helped the volleyball team tremendously over the years.  The recipient of this year’s Jefferson Award went to Mr. Randazzo. 
The senior student-athletes from football, cross country, bowling, volleyball, swimming and golf were then introduced, as well as their coaches, and all were given many thanks for a wonderful season.  The roster for both boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer and girls weightlifting were also introduced and fans were encouraged to attend as many events as possible to support these hard-working student-athletes.
The ROTC drill team then performed their award winning routine and the night was rounded out by the band performing as everyone filed out of the gym.
Athletic Director Soraya Lakatos said, “This was the first time we have ever done anything like this.  I was very pleased with the overall turnout, the support that was shown to all of our student-athletes, and the spirit expressed from our fans. It was a very exciting night and I look forward to doing this again.”