A Brief History of the PIT

A quick dive into what makes the PIT such a special part of Mitty. What were the origins and what does the PIT do?

December 3, 2021

The pit is defined by Webster’s dictionary as, “a large hole in the ground.”

Wait. No. That’s not what I meant. I meant the Archbishop Mitty student cheering section: the PIT. With two years of students who haven’t yet experienced the full effect of the cheering section for basketball season—with the Fien stands packed when games are won or lost in the last seconds—I decided that it was time to introduce you to the full story of the PIT. 

Unofficially started in 2006 (and officially founded in 2010), the PIT was originally created by a small group of spirited students to show their support for their fellow student athletes. The first year, the cheering section mainly revolved around the basketball programs, seeing as many of the founding members were a part of the football team, and therefore couldn’t start during the fall season. Over the years, the PIT has grown from a handful of juniors and seniors to have as many as 584 students in 2018-2019 school year, and this year we trail slightly with 564 members. 

Over the years, the PIT has started its own traditions of whiteout at big away games and blackout in the biggest home games of the year. Other such traditions include the traditional pink out game for both women’s volleyball and field hockey during the month of October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The fan favorite of tacky tourist and jerseys always makes an appearance, too. Senior and PIT officer of 3 years, Mateo Cauchi, has taken over the tradition of starting every game with the “We Ready” cheer (sometimes quickly followed by “I Believe”), and together the PIT ends every game with the alma mater. Win or lose, the PIT stays to sing and congratulate the team for either their efforts or their victory, and together, this brings the community together to show our joint support of our athletes. 

Mateo says he’s such an active member of the PIT because the students became somewhat of a second family. When he was a freshman, it was the juniors and seniors that encouraged him to step out of his comfort zone which allowed him the space to forge his own identity. He currently hopes that his energy and inclusiveness will help current underclassmen to step outside of their own comfort zones too. Now, at every game, you can hear his signature, “Hey PIT! Arms around each other!” which sets the mood of support and togetherness for each competition.  

So… what’s with the name “the PIT”? As the best name for any cheering section in the WCAL, the name must have some sort of significance. The story for the origin of the name is actually surprisingly simple—we quite literally form a pit. The original idea, as head of student activities Mr. Greg Walker puts it, was to create a “deep, dark, and dismal place that opponents would find difficult to survive.” Now, the group itself is anything but dismal, but early founders wanted to create something intimidating and make the other team feel trapped. 

The intimidating name might have also be used to balance out the outrageous stunts that students have pulled over the years. One such occurrence was recounted by Mr. Walker, with the star of the story being Mr. Michael Lehr (class of 2014)—a senior at the time—as he pulled up to an AMHS vs. Serra basketball game dressed head to toe in the the same outfit as the then Serra coach, Mr. Chuck Rapp. For an entire quarter, Lehr would imitate Mr. Rapp’s every move and mannerism, illustrating beautifully how imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 

Other beloved memories include the 2012 double header in the CIF State Finals in Sacramento. With three full busses of Mitty students and Mountain Mike’s pizza to fuel their energy, the PIT cheered their way to two CIF State Championships for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. It was even worth getting home at 1 a.m. (and probably missing curfew). 

Two years ago, the PIT had many supporters go to the men’s and women’s basketball CCS double header at Stanford. Some students even went to the women’s soccer game at Buck Shaw Stadium before going to the back-to-back games and helped the winter athletes in 2020 to win three consecutive CCS Open championships on the same day. Just picture it: hundreds of supporters packed into the stands losing their voices as their classmates take home the back-to-back-to-back victories.  

Last year, we had seniors (class of 2021) watch the women’s soccer CCS final game in full suits and dresses and then travel straight to their Baccalaureate Mass. We’ve had hundreds of students show up to Bellarmine to help us defeat them on their home court in basketball and at San Jose City College in football. Even this year, we’ve had many seniors drive to Hollister to support our men’s and women’s water polo teams to help in their efforts to win CCS titles. 

Senior PIT officer Nate Dean even drove all the way down to Santiago Canyon College in Orange (that’s over 6 hours of driving each way) to support the women’s volleyball team in the CIF State Finals. He says he wanted to show Marymount that “we are the most supportive school in California and that no freeway, road, or distance could stop the support of this school.” Nate has been an active member of the PIT community since he was a freshman, when at the first home football game of the season, he and some friends set up in the front row and screamed themselves hoarse. Since that night, it’s been a rare occasion when you don’t see Nate leading cheers, waving the AM flag, and supporting athletes on the field or on the court. 

The PIT is more than some club on campus. It’s a massive community of people with a legacy of thousands of students, all working together to support each other and their classmates. It’s what Mitty is all about—students supporting students in a loud and positive way that encourages people to let loose and have fun. 

 

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