TOLEDO, Ohio — Every team has dedicated fans that show up big on Friday nights in the fall, but some are more so than others. At St. Francis, one man who has quite a story stands out.
When the Knights score, there’s one fan whose reaction is predictable. It’s two peace signs enthusiastically lifted. It’s a tradition several generations of St. Francis students know and a symbol.
"It means everything man,” said Martin Beredo, a sophomore at St. Francis. “It's the Knight spirit and it's what we're all about."
But several students don't know much about Thomas LaPointe, the man behind the peace signs.
"It came like a natural thing to do one day and it just continued it," LaPointe said.
But at the Knight's game Friday, you wouldn't see him doing his trademark move. That’s because he was moving the chains. It's something he's done for nearly 45 years, several of those alongside his friends. It gives him the best view of his favorite team.
"Oh my god, that's the best,” LaPointe said. “The best position of the best vantage point to watch a game is right there. I've had to duck out of the way a few times. My life in the hands of the team, but it's fun."
But his love for the team goes way back.
"I saw the first ever Central, St. Francis game as an 8th grader in '59 and that got me hooked," LaPointe said.
From there, he knew he had to be a Knight and he was. In fact, he was valedictorian of his class in ‘64. Back then, he invested in academics but now it's all about athletics, moving chains and supporting the red and blue.
"Since I've retired it definitely gives me something to do,” LaPointe joked. “Instead of sit home and read all day and watch Channel 11."
Whether he's on the chain gang, score keeping, helping with ticket sales or cheering on his Knights, he does it all for his alma mater.
"It means a lot of friendships, excellent education, memories and experiences that stay with you forever really," LaPointe said.
He looks forward to many more Friday nights alongside his St. Francis Knights.
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