Hundreds of people packed North Ann Arbor Street in downtown Saline Thursday to cheer on the Saline Hornets as the 2016-17 school year begins.
The third annual pep rally was a joint effort of Saline Main Street and Saline Area Schools.
"We're excited to begin the 2016-17 school year. Yesterday the Saline varsity girls golf opened the season by taking the trophy at a tournament," Athletic Director and Saline High School Assistant Principal Kirk Evenson said. "It's great to see the way this community supports our students."
The pep rally included performances by the Saline High School Marching Band, which played the school fight song and also previewed its 2016 show, which is a tribute to Motown and Detroit rock.
The Saline High School cheerleaders and Saline High School Dance Team also performed routines for the crowd.
Coaches and athletes from all but one of the high school sports programs spoke to the crowd about their expectations and hopes for the upcoming season. They also showed their appreciation for the support of the community.
"Our team doesn't have 'Hornets' on our jersey. Our team proud wears 'Saline' on our jersey. We appreciate the support of our town and we proudly represent Saline every where we go," said Carl Spina, head coach of the cross country teams.
Saline High School senior Sean O'Keefe, starting defensive end on the football team, said the athletes appreciate the town's support.
"We love playing in front of a big crowd on Friday nights. It means a lot to us," O'Keefe said.
The Pep Rally ended with Saline football head coach Joe Palka encouraging the football team to lead the big crowd in the "wave." The pep rally closed with the football team singing along as the marching band sang the fight song.
Many people remained to hear Sarah Price perform jazz and pop tunes with with her band. Price, a recording artist and songwriter, is director of choirs at Saline High School.