Uncovering Prep’s Extra-curricular Past

Margot Gwynn and Alden Arnold

When digging through the Prep development office, one might stumble upon the large archive of olden yearbooks from Prep’s past- some stretching back nearly a century. Flipping through these dust-covered gems from Prep’s literary vault might reveal some peculiar finds; the Underseas Club? The Sodality Club? Male Cheerleaders? A Prep Hockey team? What happened to all these Prep extracurriculars? Where did they go? 

Although Prep currently has a variety of social justice and service clubs aiming to improve the community, many others have surfaced throughout Prep’s history. The Sodality Club was a service organization founded to encourage the “personal and social development of young Catholic leaders,” according to the 1965 edition of the Prep yearbook. The organization visited local nursing homes and conducted annual clothes and food drives, as well as provided for families in need, held dialogues with neighboring high schools, and supported missions among Native Americans at St. Mary’s, Alaska. The Panther Club, first established in 1974, was another Prep club dedicated to service that prepared the gym for pep rallies and parent’s club meetings, hosted the entrance examinations and the Grade School Speech Tournament, sold tickets at football games, kept score for intramural sports, and completed countless odd jobs around the school, living up to its unwritten motto: “If a hand is needed, The Panther Club is at hand.”   

Additionally, countless recreational and social clubs have cycled through as Prep has evolved. The Underseas Club, founded in 1975, was popular among those interested in exploring Puget Sounds’ chilly waters. Throughout the year, the club conducted scuba diving excursions to the San Juan Islands and other scenic spots around the Sound. Handball Club, attractive to students wanting to get together for “good times and a hard workout” was also a popular activity, according to the 1976 yearbook. Originating all the way back in the 50s, the Bike Club allowed students to cruise along with classmates every Sunday afternoon, and the Radio Club helped establish Prep’s first public address system to broadcast messages throughout the school.   

Panther Pack, the renowned cheer team for all Prep sports, has gone through many iterations throughout the decades. Aside from three different female cheerleading squads, the Yell Kings pushed athletes to perform their best. They were a group of male cheerleaders who composed new lyrics to traditional cheers and developed fresh routines to entertain the crowds.  

Currently, Prep has 44 athletic teams, but throughout the years, different sports have come and gone. Starting in 1972, and spanning only a few years, Prep had a Hockey team that encouraged athletes to get comfortable on the ice. In the late 40s, the Ski Team made its debut, with skiers heading to the pass to hit the slopes every weekend. Around the same time, a Boxing team existed, with students practicing self-defense, dodging punches, and building camaraderie. 

With 75% of students involved in a seasonal sport at Prep and countless students belonging to more than one club, Prep students do more than just study. Extra-curricular activities have evolved throughout the decades, and they remain an integral part of a Prep student’s identity.