Torch File Photo
As you make your way through the cozy Carnesecca Arena or the gates leading into the soccer pitch at Belson Stadium, be sure keep an eye out for a large group of loud students decked in red and black.
They aren’t that difficult to miss.
Whether you are at a home or an away game, there will always be a sea of St. John’s students dressed in Red Storm gear cheering on the athletic teams with insatiable energy.
There is no surprise that students are yelling at the top of their lungs and screaming their heads off, as they are filled with school pride.
RedZone is a daughter committee of Student Government Incorporated (SGI). It is the student section of all St. John’s athletic events.
Paige Band, a junior and Red Zone committee member, is involved with creating and planning the events that RedZone offers to the student population.
“Our job is to get people to come out to games, for people to have fun at games”, Band said.
This year, Red Zone has been making large strides in pushing students attend games with the aid of social media.
They want the student stand to be covered head to toe in the school’s colors.
“Everyone talks about how we want St. John’s to have this D1 feel, but we can’t do that without students,” Band said. “Especially students actually cheering, painting their faces, and being decked out in red. That’s what we are aiming for.”
Ridge McKnight, president of RedZone, has helped with starting a reward program called “Johnny of the Week”, which entices students to be boisterous in their support for the Red Storm.
“The idea behind that is to give students the incentive to be loud and cheer at all the sporting events,” McKnight said. “It seems like it’s a good vibe and recognition that we, as RedZone, do see you going out to the events and being loud, and putting all the energy in supporting the team.”
Red Zone’s motto centers around “creating experiences that leads long lasting memories.”
This motto rings true for passionate members like Band and McKnight.
Some of these experiences include, which RedZone is particularly notorious for, barbeques and giveaways.
“You name it, we’ve probably done it in the last five years of giveaways,” McKnight said. “But our goal is not to give away a t-shirt. Our goal is to have students come out and support [athletics] such as the soccer team and you get a t-shirt while doing it.”
Band shared her favorite memory being a part of RedZone.
“Freshman year we went to Rutgers and watched our team play them in basketball and it was really cool because we had a really cool group of students going at the time and, being a freshman, it was really my first trip,” Band said. “We were up in the nosebleeds cheering our heads off. They wanted us to be quiet and put our heads down.”
A game that had a lasting impact on McKnight was a basketball game against Creighton and one of the best collegiate players in the United States, Doug McDermott.
The stage was set at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s managed to pull off the upset.
“I think [my favorite moment was] going to Creighton last year and I think they were ranked [No.12/12] but we beat them at the Garden and we shut down the best player, which was a lottery pick in the NBA draft. Cheering them on was the best memory,” he said.
Band wraps up what she believes to be RedZone’s mission in a nutshell.
“We are all about creating an amazing experience that creates lasting memories,” Band said. “We want people to come out to games, we want them to enjoy going to those games and keep on going to them.”