Oak Hills High School isn't set to open until August, but that didn't stop the school from holding its first pep rally on Tuesday.

Before a crowd of 550 freshmen-to-be at Cedar Middle School, the Oak Hills High School band and cheerleaders (a mix of Cedar Middle and Hesperia High students in each case) performed, the school's coaching staff was introduced, team uniforms were modeled and the school's mascot made his debut.

"You kids are lucky," said Oak Hills principal Larry Porras, formerly the principal of Hesperia High School. "You guys go to the best middle school around. ... And after [summer] break, you get to go to the best high school."

The new high school will be located on Ranchero Road in between Coyote Trail and Cataba Road and will make the Hesperia Unified School District the only district in the Victor Valley to operate three comprehensive high schools. The HUSD is already the valley's largest school district and largest single employer.

Uniforms for track, soccer, volleyball, tennis, wrestling and football were modeled, and the teams' coaches introduced to the crowd.

"Mr. Porras," cheerleading coach Dale Ford, currently at Sultana High School, said afterward, "There's someone important to introduce."

"This person has no name," Porras told the students. "You get to name this next gentleman: He's a little bashful ... your mascot!"

Out ran a six-foot tall bulldog, who led the crowd in a cheering contest. Oak Hills High students will vote on the mascot's name the first week of school. They were previously polled on the school colors (red, black and white) and the school mascot.

The staff also introduced a game they say will be part of future rallies: Students ran a relay back and forth across the gym, ending up at a dog dish full of "dog food" (actually Chex Mix covered in chocolate sauce, according to Porras), racing to see who would be done first.

When Oak Hills opens, the freshmen class -- most of whom will come from Cedar Middle -- will be the largest of the three grades attending. (District policy is to let seniors remain at their current school when a new high school opens, so Oak Hills will only teach freshmen, sophomores and juniors its first year in operation.)

"Thank you, eighth graders, we'll see you soon," Porras said at the end of the rally. "Oak Hills High School, you're dismissed!"

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.