Spirit of the Knight
School spirit is an integral part of the BSM community. Through tailgates, dress up days, pep fests, the Red Knight mascot, and traditional senior overalls students show passion and fervor for their school.
September 30, 2016
The Red Knight mascot represents years of BSM tradition and pride. Every year, one senior is selected for the coveted role of the mascot, who hypes up the crowd at football games. “The knight is a symbol of who we are,” Mr. Mike Jeremiah, the BSM Campus Minister, said.
The history of the Red Knight goes back generations. References to knights are unavoidable at BSM today. The Great Hall, where students gather for mass, gets its name from the gathering space in which a king would meet with his knights in medieval ages. A knight errant was the name for a knight in quest of an adventure or a knight’s messenger; today, the BSM news publication shares the name. A knight is strong and determined, and so are the students here at BSM. The mascot not only represents a lifetime of history, but it also portrays how fierce and determined the students are in everything they do.
History promotes pride, especially Red Knight pride. The Red Knight mascot embodies the energy and excitement of the students. “It’s the perfect way to get the crowd enthusiastic when he steps out in the suit,” senior Colleen Wagner said. The blaring screams and chants truly express the fervor of the student body. Extracurricular activities are an integral part of the BSM experience, and it is only right that the Red Knight mascot is represented at games.
The mascot not only pumps up the students at sporting events, but is also represents their love and support for school. “School spirit is the heart of the school,” senior Jonah Jerabek said. Without school spirit and pride, BSM wouldn’t be the same, and the Red Knight mascot helps channel that love and powers the passion of the student body.
Dress Up Days
Every homecoming week, the halls of BSM flood with students from every grade who adorn increasingly ridiculous outfits in the name of school spirit. The extra flair of dress up days adds to the growing excitement surrounding homecoming. Without fail, seniors go all out, dressing up in the most ridiculous, inconvenient outfits all in the name of school spirit. The upper classmen signal in no uncertain terms that they love BSM enough to drag around a cape and don a fake beard for all of their classes. The freshmen observe these ridiculous seniors, and suddenly school isn’t a complete bore anymore. “Getting people excited about their four years of high school is important,” senior class president Mark Racchini said.
Student Council dedicates itself to creating an atmosphere of excitement using school spirit, especially for the freshmen. “You learn as a freshman that you can show up to school every day and be bummed about it or you can get involved,” Racchini said. Convincing freshmen that school can be exciting—or at least a bit unexpected—can make or break their high school experience. Dress up days are just one of the ways Student Council helps spice up the school day during homecoming week.
Homecoming week also unifies the grades. Whether the freshmen beat the seniors at powder puff, or the senior girls decorate colorful overalls, homecoming week highlights the solidarity within each grade. “When everyone is wearing the same color shirts and are surrounded in their class decorations, you feel a part of your grade,” Racchini said.
Hours before the football game begins, students crowd around the fan van, jamming out and grilling burgers for the traditional tailgate. Students show up decked out in clothes that fit the week’s theme. People come together to celebrate with their fellow Red Knights and prepare to see BSM crush the competition.
At every home game, the tailgate starts at 5:15 and the festivities continue until game time. The tailgate includes all classic cookout hallmarks: bean bag toss, food and drinks galore, and blasting music. “I decided to have tailgates because when I was an underclassman, it was so special to have such strong school spirit at BSM,” senior Ben Scherer, who helps organize the tailgates, said.
At any given game, 75 to 100 people show up two hours early to get together and celebrate Benilde-St. Margaret’s. This unity in the BSM community, especially around homecoming, helps show freshmen the extent of our community here at BSM. It shows them that our community can be a home to them. “It’s nice to see all the underclassmen at the tailgate, and it serves as a good example to them that you can have fun at school without being stupid,” Scherer said.
Contrary to what one might assume, the homecoming dance does not mark the culmination of this festive week. On Saturday, everyone dons fancy clothes and gathers with their friends to take pictures and dance together. However, the climax of the week comes the day before – the pep fest. The challenge for the student council as they plan this annual assembly is to keep it fresh in order to maximize school spirit, or to maximize pandemonium. “Supporting your grade, coming together, and, honestly, being as loud as you can, are all huge parts of the pep fest,” senior class president Mark Racchini said.
Perhaps the most important part of any pep fest is the M.C. The M.C., or M.C.s, are responsible for hyping up the crowd and that is no small task. Peter McCague, class of 2016 and bona fide hype man, has some advice for M.C.s of future generations: “They need to do something different, and borderline outrageous, that can capture people and actually get their attention,” McCague said.
The pep fest is the epitome of school spirit, so don’t be afraid to go all out. “It is important to love the school you go to and show that love off,” McCague said. Show off your love at the pep fest. Cheer your hearts out, and scream your lungs out. In the end, having school spirit is more important than feeling a little silly.