Recently, Pace’s athletic program has made incredible strides and gone from afterthought to contender. This success has changed the environment surrounding Pace athletics, and for tangible evidence, look no further than the student section. Once small and quiet, the student section now engulfs the stands at Walsh Field and the Inman Center, roaring for the home teams. A major contributing factor to the improved fan section is the leadership of the Knights of the Round Table. This student group recruiting fans to the games and organizing cheers and themes has taken Pace’s school spirit to the next level.
Knights of the Round Table was founded in the fall of 2012 by then-senior Miles Sheft. Back then, the Knights struggled with losing records and low fan support, and KOTRT sought to change the culture. In the two and a half years since, Pace has seen state rings in soccer, diving, track, cross country and football, along with an increase in performances across the entire athletics department. Riding the Knights’ success and guided by KOTRT, the Pace fan section today is as strong as it ever has been. “I feel like our fan section is increasingly getting better,” said senior Spencer Hemmingway, a member of the KOTRT. “The turnout has been great in huge games, especially at home against Lovett.”
On any given game day, one may enter the gym and find students in jerseys or American red, white and blue. Themes bring spirit to the gym and a unified look to the fan section. Aside from the usual themes like neon and Hawaiian night, KOTRT has added new themes to test students’ creativity. According to KOTRT leader senior Bailey O’Sullivan, themes like camo, pajamas and super heroes have been instituted for the first time this school year.
While students thoroughly enjoy the themes and cheers at games, they may not be the biggest beneficiary. The effect of the enhanced student spirit has been monumental for Pace’s student-athletes. “Knights of the Round Table is very crucial to our success because they bring a level of energy unmatched across the state,” said senior Mick Assaf, who plays football, basketball and lacrosse. “Without them we definitely would not be the team we are.”