Panther Pack Leads Charge with New Kind of School Spirit


Panther Pack executives Allie Saharic ’21 and Maya Shields ’21 cheer on the football team with members of the girls’ varsity soccer team.

Kate Ridgeway, Managing Editor

With sports at limited spectator capacity and shortened seasons, student spirit group Panther Pack has rallied the Prep community to support its athletes during the ongoing pandemic. Behind the work of coordinating and executing social media campaigns, gift bags, and live streams, are the Panther Pack executives: seniors Allie Saharic, Margaret Felton, Kate Allen, and Maya Shields.

In a normal year, Panther Pack leads cheers at sporting events in front of a crowded student section, but like many other student groups, they have had to adapt.

Saharic shared, “This year was obviously really difficult for Panther Pack. Our goal had to change from ‘how can we be the loudest, most spirited, and have the most fun at sports games?’ to ‘how do we even have the presence of fans at all?’”

To accomplish this, each of the four executives led three to four Pack members in specific tasks to rally school spirit. “One group surrounded streaming, one group was social media, one group was a special-projects-type-thing, and my group was posters. Overall, we contributed in many ways to improve the season for athletes,” Saharic added.

Select sporting events were live-streamed on Prep Sports’ Instagram (@seaprepsports) or its YouTube page. This started with a campaign to get the YouTube page to one thousand subscribers before season one to unlock streaming capabilities. Throughout season one, hundreds of students, staff, and alumni tuned into football, volleyball, soccer, cross country, golf, and girls’ swim.

Instagram boosted community involvement through regular sports updates and posts highlighting seniors and “Panthers of the Week.” Allen and Felton created weekly sports update videos to share schedules for the week, like those shared in morning announcements on-campus in a typical year. Additionally, Saharic and her team hung posters around campus supporting each sport and their seniors.

When the end of season one rolled around, Panther Pack faced the challenge of honoring senior athletes. Shields came up with the idea to create senior goodie bags for senior nights. Saharic said, “it was really fun to pack bags and write notes to the seniors, knowing the impact it would have on the players, especially because our time at Prep is coming to a close.”

Over the past year, social distancing has tested the Prep community. Still, Panther Pack highlights how strong Prep spirit is, even while apart by supporting athletic teams and giving student-athletes of the class of ’21 the season they deserve.