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Trojan Pit makes it presence known at hockey games PHOTOS

  • The Trenton student section, or better known as the Trojan Pit, showed up in large numbers at Saturday's Division 2 state finals. Seniors run the Trojan Pit each year and with the help of social media, decide on themes for each game and spread word about game times. Photos by Dave Chapman
  • The Trenton hockey team celebrates with its student section after Saturday's D2 state championship win
  • The Trenton hockey team won its 14th state title on Saturday at Compuware Arena

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If you go to a Trenton hockey game, the talent flying up and down the ice is sure to impress you, but something else may catch your eye.

Off to the side, up in the stands cheer will thunder down so loud, you may want to grab some ear plugs.

The Trenton student section, more formally known as the Trojan Pit, is in attendance to every hockey game, making sure the opposite team as well as their own hockey team, knows how just how much support they give.

And they come in huge numbers.

At Saturday’s state championship meet, the students were there long before game time, dressed in a sea of blue and gold Trenton colors.

Per tradition, the students showed up to the school as the sun was rising to send off their hometown hockey team to the D2 state playoffs.

And when the team propelled itself to an 8-3 victory, the 14th in school history, those students went nuts.

A group of seniors run the Trojan Pit each year, the head leader electing next year’s successor.

This year, Brandon Justice leads the group, along with fellow Trenton students Dru Doree, Jalen Teifer and Vincenzo Guglielmetti. They run the Trojan Pit both in the stands and on social media, brainstorming and bouncing ideas for each hockey game off each other.

“Basically, we just start off brainstorming ideas pretty much at the lunch table and then we’ll ask twitter and then go to the hockey team and confirm it,” Justice said. “That’s how we decide.”

Teifer said the main goal is to let the team know the amount of support behind them.

“It’s just to show our team spirit and support,” he said. “We’ve just been such a great team for the past however many years and we just want to do something great and make a mark on it.

The Trojan Pit has 568 followers on Twitter and this season has been featured on State Champs and even Channel 7 news.

However, the group wasn’t always that big and only started just a few years ago.

Kyle Gill, a college freshman at Cleary Univrsity and former standout Trenton soccer goalie, started the Trojan Pit during his junior year.

It was then known as Gilligan’s Island, a name Gill’s peers suggested to commemorate their leader.

The idea came on the eve of a hockey game against Roosevelt when Gill and classmates bounced ideas of revamping the student section off each other between lunches.

“The idea of the student section was to create the best atmosphere for our most heralded sport,” Gill said. “With that in mind, I also aimed to make it so that anybody felt welcome, and that on any given night, people could come join the section and let out all their energy, while creating a sense of unity.

“Personally for me, it was my escape from the hostility of life, while also letting me find the brothers and sisters that I never hard.”

The days turned into weeks and the student section started to grow thanks to student made signs, word of mouth, and social media.

“We created an atmosphere that was unmatched in the state of Michigan and put together the ultimate series of positive, energetic words to help push our favorite team to victory,” Gill said.

On the last day of his senior year, Gill sat down with Justice and Guglielmetti, handed over the password to the Twitter account and gave them his blessing to take over the student section for their senior year.

“This year they did a great job of creating a positive atmosphere, while creating one of the best student sections in the state,” he said. “Creativity was key and the themes, coupled with a wide variety of chants, allowed the student section to grow into its own.”

Doree said the group now has high expectations to keep the tradition going.

“Each year we always worry about if next year we’re gonna have a better student section than the last,” he said. “We had a great leader a couple years ago and then Justice came in and next year we’re hoping we’ll have an even better one to keep the tradition going along.”

Various memories stand out for the students, including this year’s win Stevenson in double overtime for the regional title and a win over Hartland in the MIHL showcase before the teams met in the state finals.

Nothing topped the trip to the state finals though.

“It’s something else,” Teifer said. “It’s honestly a great feeling; it’s something else that we’re Michigan wide and we’re in the state finals and we’re making a mark on Michigan.”

Gill joined his former classmates at Saturday’s state final and said his time with the Trojan Pit is something he will never forget.

“I am proud to say I was a Trojan, but in my time it is easy to say the student section was my best memory from high school,” he said. “But I guess for me, much like the leaders this year, it was a way of life.

“Even though I graduated in 2013, it is good to know that our class and myself made a lasting impact and tradition that will carry on for many years.”

Justice said he knew it was going to be special his senior year and his goal was to make the Trojan Pit well known in the area.

“Since elementary school, all we’ve talked about is making the state finals,” he said. “When I pretty much knew I was gonna lead my senior year, I knew my senior year we were gonna be really good and we were gonna make it there and that they were gonna have us behind them.

“Ultimately we wanted to be known as the best on the ice and in the stands. And I think we’ve done that.”

Last Updated: 3/12/2014 10:05:11 PM EST