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Red Flash family is filled with pride

Commentary

The good people at Miriam Webster have a very broad definition of the word “pride.”

Among the many descriptions one stands out: “delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship.”

For those that needed to see this definition with their own eyes, the 2,610 people gathered in the Maurice Stokes Athletic Center for the Northeast Conference men’s basketball championship wore it all over their faces even, after their beloved Red Flash came up on the short end.

Let’s start with the SFU basketball lifers. You all know who you are.

These are the people that take on the motto of our U.S. Postal Service when it comes to driving to Red Flash basketball games — nor rain, nor sleet, nor snow …

They are always there. They are the same faces I remember seeing over 20 years ago when I was a player. Thank you for your loyalty. It’s more appreciated than you will ever know.

The pride in the eyes of athletics secretary Margie McHenry and Jim Brazill, senior associate director of marketing, promotion and communications, AJ Anderson, assistant director of athletic operations and custodian Tom Shrift was a joy to see.

These four individuals do the work that 25 people would do at a power five conference school.

Tuesday night was incredible because of them.

The Red Flash basketball experience has evolved through the creativity and hard work of our athletics communications crew of Taylor Powers, Dan Griffin and Chris Miller.

They along with head cheerleader and dance team coach Kasey Geyer are a big part of the reason the personal-finance website WalletHub placed Loretto as the 10th best city for college hoops fans in 2019. This distinction was based on nine metrics that range from number of teams per city to winning percentage to social media engagement.

Other cities in the top 10 include places like Los Angeles and Chapel Hill.

Take a bow, pep band and student section. The former has been steadfast and loud throughout the season. The latter was incredible on Tuesday and is truly needed for every game we play.

As a former player, I remember feeding off these two groups during hard-fought games. At Saint Francis, close to half of our students are in athletics, so it’s tough for many to be at every game, but when you show up in numbers like you did Tuesday, well, you make it very special.

We had alumni fly in from all over the country just to be a part of this special night. Class members from the late 1940s through the class of 2018 filed through the doors in droves.

The pride on their faces was apparent throughout the evening. Keep your second week in March open in the coming years, because we have only just begun.

My favorite sight of the evening though was a little area of of the bleachers that has now been dubbed Krimmel Korner.

My former teammate and dear friend, Rob Krimmel, has done amazing things in his seven-year tenure as head coach. His success can 100 percent be attributed to his amazing parents, in-laws, family and friends, and most importantly, his wife, Aileen, and sons Alex and Tommy.

They, more than any of us, have soaked in the joy of this season — a journey that isn’t over just yet.

Tom Fox is a former Saint Francis player, graduating in 2000. He is part of the Red Flash’s in-game entertainment crew as a roving mikeman.

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