A few days before spring break, eight senior boys were witnessed dressing up in silly outfits, prancing around in their underwear, and shaking their butts to the tune of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” all on school grounds. Did they get in trouble for this? Of course not! They were participating in one of the school’s most popular events, Mr. AHS.
On March 30th, parents and students alike filed into the auditorium for good laughs and a chance to see some of Atholton’s best . If the laughs were any indication, they did not leave disappointed.
In the show, the boys took part in a series of performances, which included: a group dance, a GQ walk, a rose presentation, a talent portion and a question and answer segment. All these were opportunities to gain points points with the judges. The audience casted their votes at the end and this along with the judges’ choice determined who would win the title of Mr. AHS.
This year’s Mr. AHS was a bit different from those of past yeas. The proceeds from the event, which normally go to the current senior class, were instead used to pay off the debt left by last year’s seniors. However, this did not cause much of a change to how the event was planned and still allowed for an enjoyable night. In addition, this year the event was held in late March instead of the usual January date.
Mr. AHS is an event many in the Atholton body look forward to. About 180 to 200 people normally attend and the event raises around $1500. The reasons people choose to attend are varied. For some, it is a tradition that goes back for years. Junior Lisa Satchell’s brother was an MC a few years back, which is what coerced her into going. Others come to cheer on their friends. And, of course, there are those who just wish for a good laugh and a chance to take their mind off of things.
“I went to last year’s and it was a lot of fun. It was cool to see everyone up there being funny and I was excited to see it again,” Rachel Calanni, a junior who attended the event.
Preparations for Mr. AHS usually start about a month and a half out, though this year’s started much earlier because of the date change. A lot happens behind the scenes in order to make sure this fun filled event runs smoothly. The boys need to first come up with their ideas and what they will do for each portion. This involves many brainstorming sessions and the scrapping of ideas. A script needs to be written and approved by Mr. Mackechnie and all of the boys. Escorts need to be found and MCs casted. The MCs this year were Seniors Alex Fodel and Eric Lu. Last, but certainly not least, is rehearsal. This show, like any production, is rehearsed several times before anyone in the Atholton community gets to lay eyes on it.
The judges for this year’s event were Mr. Abrahms, Ms. Stackhouse and Ms. Flack. Each had their reason for judging. Mr. Abrahms became a judge at the request of his pupils.
“Several students came up to me and asked me to judge the event,” said Mr. Abrahms.
When it came to the jokes, nothing was off limits. Every topic imaginable was touched upon, from homages to old TV shows to the ridiculousness of some students’ cars to the troubles of having too many suitors. Even the judges were not spared, with a few jokes being thrown Mr. Abrahms’ way. However, it was all in good fun and no offense was taken.
However, there were a few bumps along the road on the way to this year’s Mr. AHS. The event was moved to March because of conflicts with booking the auditorium. On top of this, for a while there were not enough contestants to put on the show. The interest was lower than in previous years, with only eight participants instead of the usual ten to fourteen.
“Timing was the major issue,” said Mr. Mackechnie, sponsor for Mr. AHS. “With only 8 guys signed up, there really wasn’t a lot of interest either.”
All of these problems were smoothed out by the big night. The date change proved to be a blessing because it allowed more boys to participate and allowed for the use of the set form this year’s school musical, Beauty and the Beast, before it was torn down by the stage crew.
For Atholton toning down the contest was a large change, but did not entirely end the show. Some schools in the country, such as Hammond, Mt. Hebron and Oakland Mills, still take part in shows similar to Mr. AHS. Wilde Lake and Reservoir would also if not for the lack of interest from the student body. Aside from these school, none of the other high schools in Howard County have shows like Mr. AHS, though Centennial, Howard and River Hill once had shows similar to it. According to Mr. Mackechnie, this is because Atholton’s is “simply the best.”
At first glance, the idea of Mr. AHS seems strange. Why would eight young men possibly want to goof around on stage, fooling around as their friends and families watch on? As it turns out, it actually makes a lot of sense. Everyone knows how stressful senior year can be, especially the last semester. Mr. AHS gives the boys a chance to get away from it all and just let it all out. It also gives them a chance to create another lasting memory of their time at Atholton.
“They get to goof off and have a good time and forget about the stress ” said Mr. Babe, vice principal who attended Mr. AHS.
The honor of being this year’s Mr. AHS went to Javier Scott, who won the crowd over with his acting skills in the talent portion along with the help of his friend and fellow contestant senior Scott Jones.
With this year’s Mr. AHS now over, the school can look forward to the other big events of the school year, graduation being the most important of these. Despite the bustle of the months ahead, Atholton looks back on this year’s Mr. AHS fondly and looks forward to what they can expect next year. One thing is certain and that is that there is no limits to what they will see. Who knows? Next year, underwear may be out of style.