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Flying with the Flock

On a cold February afternoon, Ari Horwitz (‘21) and Abraham Rothstein (‘21) were cheering and shouting in the crowded bleachers of the second-floor gym. The girl’s varsity basketball team was playing in the semi-finals, and the game was tight. Unlike most other sporting events that season, this game had actually drawn a crowd, all of whom were on their feet, cheering, chanting, and willing their team onto the finals.

“A lot of people showed up to that game and were getting into it,” said Abe, “and they’re doing different chants, and you see all the energy, and how much fun everybody is having. And the people on the court, they’re building off of that, so we thought that maybe this could happen more instead of just one game, once a year. Maybe this could be a thing that Packer could be known for in the future.”

Hence, the idea for “The Flock” was born.

“The Flock,” an initiative started by Ari and Abe, is a fan group that tries to promote and attend a variety of sports games at Packer. Every week they highlight a particular sports match and through an Instagram account and chapel announcements, try and get as many people as possible to attend.

However, despite their admirable efforts, the group has had varying levels of success so far. Their first ‘Game of the Week,’ a varsity girls soccer game down at Pier 5, had a huge crowd that went to support and cheer.

“[That game] was really incredible. I had teachers come up to me and talk about how that was the largest crowd they had ever seen at a soccer game,” said Abe proudly.

Their second ‘Game of the Week’ was a different story, only managing to muster an attendance of five people. Abe and Ari didn’t let the game’s failure discourage them, however, and instead looked at the game as a necessary learning experience as they work out their issues. “That [game of the week] was largely our fault. A lot of mistakes on our part, but it’s all part of the process,” said Abe.

Despite their willingness to take the blame, they did want to emphasize the importance of student participation in the initiative. “Even though it can be inconvenient sometimes, it’s really important for people to go,” Ari said. “As an athlete myself, when you see all the people cheering for a basket or for a goal or for a run scored in baseball the team morale goes up. It makes you happy. And when you’re feeling happy, you’re more motivated to play.”

“I really think this can make a difference,” he continued. “I think it can be a big thing. If we could motivate just a few people to go, other people would see that, and may also be inspired. This can really be a thing we’re known for!”

Zak Rizvi is currently a junior at The Packer Collegiate Institute and is the Sports Editor for the Packer Prism this year. Over the past year, he has written a number of pieces on a variety of topics for the Prism, ranging from new and features profiles to sports previews. Outsides the Prism, he can be found on the Varsity Soccer Team, Swim Team, and Ultimate Frisbee Team, and often frequents the Miscellaneous Skills Club. Zak Rizvi can be reached at zarizvi@packer.edu

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