Cougar Cup

The Cougar Cup sits on display in the school.

ST. ANTHONY − South Fremont Junior High School is having their second annual Cougar Cup challenge.

David Marotz, Principal of South Fremont Junior High School, said that the school got inspiration for this event from the popular Harry Potter movie series’ Hogwarts House Cup.

The difference here is that instead of doing good deeds or getting good grades for points toward the cup, South Fremont holds competitions.

“We have weekly competitions,” Principal Marotz said. “We’ve had some that are door decorating; they’re in the middle of a Mascot sculpting competition right now. We have Lego building challenges, a chess tournament, a clue challenge, a Jenga challenge, Christmas tree decorating, and they’re all earning points toward the cup.”

In a hallway at the school, they have a large board with the current rankings. Martoz says that they have about 15 competitions a semester to earn points.

“We’re like the coolest school in the whole state,” Marotz said.

It starts with the school’s advisory classes. Marotz says that each child is assigned to one of five advisory classes for each grade level. In total, there are fifteen advisory classes. Each advisory class selects a real-life college mascot as their own. They decorate their door, and that mascot becomes theirs for the semester.

“So, we have the Crimson Tide, and the Sun Devils and the Blue Devils and all sorts of different schools that are represented,” Marotz said.

Marotz says that it’s a great way for kids to get interested in college early and learn about new universities and careers.

But most importantly, it gives students a chance to work in teams and feel pride in themselves and their teammates.

“We want them to be a part of a team, build that team spirit, be a part of something,” Marotz said.

He says that they tailored their challenges to include oddities and fun activities that highlight students who don’t play sports or are usually not in other school activities or groups, which gives everyone their “shining moment.”

“It is an opportunity for every kid to be part of a team that’s working together,” Marotz said. “And when we get to the end of the semester, the team with the most points gets to have their name on the Cougar Cup.”

He says that the first place team gets a pizza party, an off-campus lunch and Cougar Cup champion dog tags.

“It’s not how smart you are, but how you are smart,” Marotz said.