It’s Knight Time!

The School and the Dungeon make new efforts to improve school spirit.


Kate Weatherup

Pictured from left-to-right on September 2: Seniors Julia Bonaguidi, Chase Landa, Jake Molinar, Phoebe Paradez, Jameson Vaccaro, Alexandra Houk, Erin Ellsworth, Casey Ryan, Novalyne Petrikis, and Ryan Arrowsmith announce their leadership of the Dungeon to their Instagram followers.

What time is it? Knight Time! Who’s house? B-House! Bishop’s, you know, fight Knights, fight! This is one of the many chants that this year’s Dungeon leaders are using in their efforts to improve the spirit surrounding Bishop’s athletics. 

With the start of the 2022-23 school year, a new generation of Dungeon leaders—  seniors Chase Landa, Julia Bonaguidi, Jake Molinar, Jameson Vaccaro, Phoebe Paredez, Erin Ellsworth, Alexandra Houk, Novalyne Petreikis, Ryan Arrowsmith, and Casey Ryan — take the stands to bring energy during athletic games. The Dungeon is ready to support teams throughout the school year and they encourage students to do the same: Chase Landa (‘23) said, “[We want to] rally together and support people who work every single day on that field.” He encourages fans to support the athletes and bring out the best in themselves.

The Bishop’s athletic programs were greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Coach Paula Conway, the Director of Athletics, said, “Last year, I was really nervous about sports being canceled, so I feel like having the student body back to a normal school year has really been a lot of fun.” 

Dungeon members are also craving a sense of normalcy after the past two years. In unison, like a chant at a football game, the Dungeon said there is “not enough” school spirit. Dean of Students, Ms. Michelle Shea, said, “It can be a counterweight to whatever stressors there are in the world,” explaining that she too would like to see more school spirit at Bishop’s. Phoebe Paradez (‘23) continued, “It’s the thread of our community.” The Associated Student Body Council (ASBC) is also focusing on this issue. Serena Zhang (‘24), the ASBC Chief of Staff, said, “School spirit is definitely at the center of ASBC’s focus this year.”

According to Coach Conway,  school spirit adds “a sense of belonging for everyone, that they feel a part of the community whether you are playing that sport or you’re just a fan.” She emphasized the relevance of school spirit as it pertains to every member of the Bishop’s community.

Excited for the new generation of Dungeon leaders, Coach Conway noticed the group’s attendance efforts. She said, “I’ve seen [The Dungeon] at so many different sporting events, not necessarily [just] football or water polo games. They’ve been out at field hockey and volleyball, so I feel like they’re spreading themselves out a little bit more than what I’ve seen in the past.” 

Unlike other schools’ cheerleading squads or dance teams, the Dungeon is unique to Bishop’s. Coach Conway said, “I have been at schools where they’ve had cheerleading teams, and I like how the Dungeon is more of an organic group.” Julia Bonaguidi (‘23) added, “Having a Dungeon is less formal and you’re cheering for friends.” Casey Ryan (‘23) continued, “We connect more with the students. We are the cheerleaders, but like way cooler.”

To heighten the spirits of members of the Bishop’s community, large purchases have been made in the past two years: the Knight’s Tunnel that football players run out of at the start of each home game, and more recently, the T-shirt cannon that launches Bishop’s apparel into the roaring stands. The Dungeon gladly accepted the new gadgets, but admitted that they don’t know what’s in store next: Jameson Vaccaro (‘23) said, “We don’t know, that’s all [Coach] Conway’s [responsibility], it’s a surprise.” 

 Coach Conway explained that improving school spirit was a popular request. “Talking to the students and some of the parents and just some different constituents, they wanted to feel more, have a fun environment,” she remarked.

School spirit also plays a significant role in setting the tone for athletes’ game play. Erin Ellsworth (‘23) said, “ I think that as an athlete, when you have people cheering for you, it just makes you feel better about yourself. You’re more motivated to play well.” Casey Ryan (‘23) added on, “Whenever there’s one fan, I play ten times better.” 

School spirit not only brings people together, but it also helps incorporate Bishop’s as a significant part of a student-athlete or fan’s identity. Jake Molinar (‘23) said, “You have an incentive to win…I represent these people, I want to make them look good, let’s go!”

Let’s enjoy the new emphasis on school spirit this year: take it as a refresher from the busy life that comes with being a Bishop’s student. Support the Dungeon and our sports teams to bring life back into Bishop’s athletics.