Letter jackets give students a chance to show BSM pride

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Shannon Cron

Haley Jerabek, a junior, proudly wears her letter jacket to school.

Shannon Cron, photographer

Residing behind the hockey players’ lunch table, sits a man with a mission––to sell letter jackets. The red and beige jackets he sells serve as a symbol of Red Knight pride, and provide a perfect picture of a classic high school tradition.

Dave Tepley––a Mecca Sports Wear regional sales representative––can be found sitting at the table in the back of the commons during the last week of every month. He covers the letter jacket sales for the metro area and southern Minnesota. “Sometimes I see twelve customers, sometimes two,” said Tepley. “The number of sales depend on the time of year.”

With fall and winter being the highest selling periods, BSM is Tepley’s largest sales account, and he attributes this success to the genuine spirit amongst the student body. “We sell about 50 jackets a year at BSM, and I’m sure we will go over the amount we sold last year,” said Tepley.

Complete with sleeves lined with varsity letters, these jackets provide a way for students to show their achievements. “Kids that wear our jackets are proud to display their accomplishments,” said Tepley. “It’s a good layout of money for the parents.” Each jacket costs anywhere from $220 to $240.

Lettering in track, soccer, nordic skiing, soccer, and cross-country, sophomore Haley Jerebek says purchasing a jacket of her own was a wise decision. “I wear my letter jacket to school everyday,” said Jerebek. “It was a good, practical investment.”

Senior Rob Shaver also a proudly owns a letter jacket, mainly for sentimental purposes.

“I never wear my jacket, but I still wanted to buy one as a way to remember high school,” said Shaver.

Reversely, senior Alex Plouff said she doesn’t own a letter jacket and has no plans to change that. “Personally, I am not a fan of the look or idea of a letter jacket. I just have never felt inclined to purchase one,” said Plouff, “but then again, I don’t play sports.”

Tepley said roughly 70% of letter jackets sold are home to sports-related letters, while 30% are geared toward other types of involvement, such as math league, choir, speech, and mock trial.

“I thought it would be fun and unique to buy a letter jacket even though I don’t play sports,” said junior Shannon Stroh. “You don’t see a lot of people walking around in letter jackets with just academic activities and clubs.”

The warm and spirited community make BSM one of Tepley’s favorite clients. “I consider Benilde-St. Margaret’s a very motivated environment,” said Tepley, “The students are proud to be Red Knights.”