Panther Pack is Back: Football, Fans, Fun!


Panther Pack rallies crowd during Prep vs. Mount Baker High School football game

Kelsey Hamilton, Staff Writer

Last season, the football team had to play their games in front of empty stands due to COVID. This season, the screaming and wild energy of the fans can be heard and felt from several blocks away.

Football games have always been a community-building event where everyone comes together and shows their prep spirit, and this season is no exception. Fans are going wild now that spectators are allowed at the games again. Although they are masked, their cheers are still loud as ever. For some, it is the first high school football game they’ve attended. Rachel Fry ’24 went to her first Prep football game when they handily defeated Blanchet. When asked about her experience, Fry said, “The energy of the crowd really added to the entire experience of going to my first football game and watching the Panther Pack hype up the crowd was fun too.”

A big part of having an energetic crowd is having a Panther Pack that is lively and loud. The Panther Pack is a group of upperclassmen that lead cheers, pick the themes for each game, and spread the word about all the sporting events that are happening. Last year, the Panther Pack had to get creative in how they could show school spirit without physically being there, and a lot of that was done through prep social media. One of the main faces of the Panther Pack is Clare Wagner ’22. While Fry talked about the enthusiasm the crowd gets from the Panther Pack, Wagner talked about how they draw energy from the crowd.

“It’s motivating to see you have a giant student section behind you,” said Wagner, “I love leading all the cheers and just getting to be involved in the environment we create at the games.”

The energy from the crowd carries down to the field as well. Jack Velling ’22 plays tight end on varsity football. Velling spoke about how having a lively fan section at the games lifts their mood.

“When we play in front of fans it gives our whole team an energy and moral boost…it’s always good looking over to the sidelines and seeing your family, classmates, and even teachers all cheering you on,” said Velling.

Last season, Velling noted how it was odd to play with no fans and how the team had to create their own energy instead of getting it from the fans.

“I got to rely on my teammates for that energy and love, which turned out to be a great experience,” said Velling.

Prep has a tight-knit community that never fails to shine through at football games. Everyone, from the fans to the Panther Pack, to the players on the field, rallies together to represent Prep and cheer each other on.