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Ben deWaal Malefyt leads cheers

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If you have been to a big volleyball game or basketball game in the past few years, you will notice that Calvin has one man leading the student section, called Knight Nation, on a regular basis, making sure that the students are involved in the game.

This is Ben deWaal Malefyt, a senior from Midland Park, N.J. He is a physical education major with a passion for sports.

He started out at Eastern University in Pennsylvania before transferring to Calvin, where his brother and sister both attended. Leading the cheers was “just something that happened and we ran with it,” as he put it.

“I remember sophomore year; there wasn’t really anything going on. The students would stand and everything but nothing was really happening. I don’t want to say that I started it, but now everyone is just coming out and everyone is all together and we sound so much better now,” said Malefyt.

“Ever since Ben has been here, I have seen Knight Nation not necessarily grow but just getting more involved in games and it’s really helped us out a lot,” commented senior Tyler Kruis, a three-year starting center for the men’s basketball team. Malefyt even brought Knight Nation over to the cross country regionals this past weekend.

It does have its benefits, says Malefyt. “I would say the best part is seeing kids who I wouldn’t normally think would come out and be rowdy and stuff like that just going all out. That’s the best part.”

But there have also been cheers that have not been as successful.

“The first time we played Hope this year, we were doing ‘Tick, Tick, BOOM.’ The one section decided not to look at Jordan Daley when we were doing it so they went and were on the ‘boom’ and we were still on ‘tick tick.’ It was all out of sync and it looked bad and sounded bad. It was a disaster,” Malefyt said.

He plans on leading Knight Nation through volleyball nationals this weekend and the upcoming basketball season.

Leading the cheers does not usually have an effect on his booming deep voice.

“The five set-ers are killers. My secret is just having a ton of Sprite — it really rejuvenates my throat. I don’t know how, but it does,” he said. “But Applebee’s makes a ton of money off me after days like that.”

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