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Principal Bai-Rossi Takes Two Pies

OCT. 22, 2021 — Shooting long-jumpers is nothing new for Mike DeHond, but for Nicki Sussman, who had never attempted one before this fall, sinking a half-court shot seemed anything but possible.

It didn’t prevent the Midlakes seniors from an unforgettable basketball experience.

Both Mike, a guard on the varsity team, and Nicki, a varsity cheerleader, brought a capacity crowd into a frenzy after sinking half-court shots during the High School Pep Rally on Oct. 1. They became the first students to earn the right to “pie” Principal Frank Bai-Rossi.

"I thought right when I released it that it was going in," Mike said. "It looked really good right off the bat."

Mike celebrated by taking a victory lap around the gym and heading straight toward the senior section to celebrate. Then came the real excitement.

Nicki, who was concerned she would not get the ball to the basket by shooting straight on, went to the midcourt line and heaved the ball over her shoulders toward the hoop. The unorthodox shot sailed toward the hoop, closer, closer, closer … SWISH!

Nothing but net and the entire gym went bonkers.

"A lot of screaming," Nicki said. "I was just shocked. I didn’t think it was going in, I didn’t think it was going to be close, I didn’t even know what I did."

What she did is help bring back an energy that has been missing for a while.

"They were so excited when she made that shot," Bai-Rossi said. "It was impressive for her and I think she was excited about it, but I think it was exciting for the entire student body. I think that encapsulates a pep rally and what we are trying to do with school spirit. She really encapsulated that in one shot. It was pretty cool to watch."

School spirit is something Bai-Rossi works to culivate, allowing students to attempt the shots from center court. If they make one, he receives a pie in the face. If they miss, Bai-Rossi gets to "pie" the students. He was 3-0 before this fall.

"I knew it was bound to happen," he said of a student making a shot.

As for a whipped cream pie in the face?

"It was cold, wet, dirty but fun," he said. "It was good to have the kids so involved and back in school."


frank bai-rossie

photo of students pie the principal 1

photo of students pie the principal 2