Instagram account @toga6thman highlighting athletics across campus

January 20, 2022 — by Anjali Nuggehalli
Student section at varsity boys’ basketball game against Los Gatos on Jan. 14.
Created by senior Parsa Hashemi during the fall semester, the account aims to bolster the school’s sports culture and audience engagement.

Reflecting on the Homecoming football game against Monta Vista last fall, senior varsity football player Parsa Hashemi recalled the decorated bleachers filled with students decked out in white apparel, tossing powder into the air as they cheered the Falcons to victory. 

Soon after the game, Hashemi created @toga6thman on Instagram to bring more spirit to athletic events, an account with more than 400 followers that shares sports updates and schedules with students found on the schools’ athletic calendar. He gained followers by sending requests to as many students as possible. 

“I would be scrolling through Instagram and seeing all these spirit accounts for other schools, so I decided that we needed something like this,” Hashemi said. “We didn’t really have an organization that took initiative to spread the word about sporting events.”

@toga6thman primarily posts infographics made by junior Kaelli Trateng to encourage students to attend games for all sports. Trateng will most likely take over the account once Hashemi graduates. 

“Kaelli approached me and offered to help with graphics, which took a lot of weight off me,” Hashemi said. “She talked about her desire to create a more spirited and involved community at the school, and it was really admirable.”

Trateng’s infographics generally include an eye-catching visual, along with the game’s time, location and opponent; these graphics are advertised further through assistant principal Brian Thompson’s school-wide emails. Thompson got involved shortly after the account’s creation. The posts also highlight pictures of players, teams and spirited fans decked out in Saratoga gear that are often messaged to the account by students and athletes themselves. 

The account’s promotion of the varsity basketball games against Los Gatos on Jan. 14 — as well as ASB’s newly implemented “game of the week” — helped to attract a large number of students who crowded the gym to show their support for both the girls’ and boys’ teams.  

Senior varsity basketball co-captain Ayaaz Shah attributed the team’s win to the enthusiastic student section showing their support for the athletes.

“It warmed my heart to see so many Falcons show up for the team,” Shah said. “It always makes us play better when we have a big, supportive crowd when we’re playing.”

Shah added that the infographics posted by @toga6thman leading up to the game were “very influential,” and that he appreciates Hashemi’s efforts to bolster the school’s involvement with athletics.

“I feel like we’re only worried about our own little communities, but sports culture brings that sense of unity,” Hashemi said. “It’s a really good way to bring everyone together and fight for something in common instead of against each other.” 

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