Red Scare president expectant for student section to be back at games next year

With most COVID-19 restrictions moving into the rearview mirror, UD’s Red Scare student section aims to be back in full force for the 2021-22 academic year. Photo courtesy of Flyer News.

Peter Burtnett
Sports Editor

As things begin to return to how it used to be in the sports world before the COVID-19 pandemic, the new President of Red Scare is hoping for the student section to be back in big numbers during the 2021-22 academic year.

Jacob Mantle, rising junior public relations major with minors in marketing and communication management, has been a member of the board for Red Scare since being a freshman apprentice. He was drawn to the position when “took initiative” to co-lead the NBA Draft watch party on Nov. 18, 2020, when Flyer stand-out Obi Toppin was drafted No. 8 overall by the New York Knicks. 

“Based off my experience from last year, being on the red scare board as a freshman apprentice, I just felt like I could elevate the organization and carry on with the success that we built upon last year, as well as this year. I feel like going into next year, I felt like I was the right person to do that,” Mantle said. 

In the midst of the pandemic, the number of Red Scare members who could attend UD basketball games was very limited. With almost 2,000 students registered on the campus engagement platform 1850, the attendance was limited to half of the 17-member Red Scare board. 

Mantle, who was able to attend basketball games this year, said it was strange to be socially distanced, wearing masks, and being five or six rows back from where they would normally sit and bang on the padding just feet from the court. 

“It was weird sitting five or six rows back, and there’s not 400, 500 students with you nor is there the 13,000 other fans with you. So that was very strange. But we tried to make the best out of it and create as much noise and a home court atmosphere to the best of our abilities as students.”

Now, Mantle moves forward from a challenging season to be a student section, especially one as passionate as Red Scare. After conducting interviews for new board members last week, Mantle moves into the upcoming year with anticipation for being back to normal. 

“From Red Scare’s perspective and my perspective I am expecting, I’m hoping and expecting to be fully in person, where we can have as many students at the games as possible,” Mantle said. 

“And I’m saying that now, just because it’s easier to roll back your plan than to build up your plan at the last minute. That’s kind of the expectation from my perspective and Red Scare’s is that we’re going to be ready to go in the fall. When it comes to football, volleyball, both men’s and women’s soccer. And then hopefully we can have some giveaways and get some students into the stadium and just pack the stands.”

Moving into the fall, Red Scare will work with the UD athletic program to determine what attendance may look like, saying athletics has the “final say.”

After officially taking over as president last week and conducting the member interviews, Mantle is currently notifying the candidates on whether they were accepted or not. Personally, Mantle hopes to build on the foundation of community within the board built up by Katie Acra. 

“She did a really good job this year of creating a solid foundation, kind of like a community within the board that I think is really strong that I hope to build upon,” Mantle said. “I really feel like she kind of created a launch pad, so to speak so that for next year when and if we are in person, it should be really easy to just transition to that. Granted, there’s going to be more logistics, but from a team bonding perspective, I think that we’re in a good spot.”

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