Guy's Mom's Pie for the Win!
Can a chocolate pie lead to a winning football season?
According to a longstanding Episcopal tradition, it just may. Since the early 2000’s, members of the Knights football team have enjoyed a Thursday night meal together. The meeting initially started as a gathering of the defense where the players and coaches would review tape and prepare for the next day’s action. After word spread of the “spread” that was being provided by team parents, the rest of the team quickly joined in. The evenings were hosted at a senior parents’ home and the players’ families all chipped in to feed the hungry group. This tradition lives on today with members of the team still enjoying a meal together every Thursday during the season.
The Origins of a Sweet Tradition
In 2002, Guy Watkins was a freshman new to the team. His mom Sharon Easterly Watkins ’76 remembers what it was like to be a freshman parent as she tried to learn the ropes of being a player’s mom. When Sharon heard about the team meals, she immediately volunteered to provide dessert. That dessert, a chocolate chess pie, would become a campus tradition that continues today - Guy’s Mom’s Pie. The popularity of the pie eventually reached beyond the gridiron. “I wish I had counted the number of pies I baked throughout his high school career,” says Sharon. “Everyone wanted that pie. I baked it for YEARS not only for the football team, but the soccer and baseball teams as well.” Sharon made the pie for Homecoming dinners, birthdays for students she didn’t know, Senior Ring Day gifts, teachers, friends and classmates. There was even a pie bake off between Sharon and chemistry teacher, Bruce Bowman. Of course, Guy’s Mom’s Pie was victorious!
However, for Sharon the pie was much more than a good luck charm. She simply wanted to be involved in her son’s life. She says when Guy got to Upper School there was naturally less parental involvement. The football dinners, and eventually Guy’s Mom’s Pie, provided her the opportunity to stay in touch with her teen. Sharon and a few of the team moms even read a book for moms of football players so that they could relate to what was happening on the field and have a conversation with their children about the game. After all these years what seemed like such an easy task, cooking a pie for a football team, has proven to be important for her family. She says now that Guy and his sister Erin ’03 are both adults they appreciate and recognize that their parents were always there and always involved. Maybe food really is the way to someone’s heart?
Once upon a time the Episcopal student section was full of creatures – Bleacher Creatures that is. Episcopal Development Operations Assistant and graduate, Kate McDuff ’08 says the Bleacher Creature tradition is one of her all-time favorites. “It was a right of passage,” says McDuff. “In our mind it was joining in on a tradition that had been going on forever. We felt like we were a part of something”
Episcopal Bleacher Creatures were members of the senior class. Each year the students ordered personalized t-shirts designating them as the Upper School leaders. The navy blue shirts featured the Bleacher Creature tagline on the front and a personalized number and name on the back. The shirts were worn to home football games and were easily identifiable among the crowd.
The Bleacher Creature shirts were a tradition that was owned by the students. McDuff says each year students self-organized and were responsible for making their selection and ensuring that everything was in order and on time. For McDuff, having that sense of ownership only made the tradition more memorable. Not to be outdone, the teaching team joined in on the tradition. Yellow Teacher Creature shirts began appearing with blue writing designating the adult members of the Episcopal community.
“Episcopal is what you make it,” says McDuff. “We had the opportunity to explore our interests and participate in as many or as few activities as we wished.” Such a culture inspires a strong sense of school spirit and community among students. McDuff remembers a full student section at all home football games and many of the basketball games and soccer matches. “We were passionate about Episcopal and traditions such as Bleacher Creatures provided us one more opportunity to express that,” she says. “We were all in and proud to be Knights.” That sense of school pride remains with McDuff as a member of the faculty and staff at her alma mater. During any given week, you may find her at a Middle School athletic event or an Upper School play. While the Bleacher Creature shirt is gone, the school pride certainly lives on.
UKnighted through Tradition
Traditions like Guy’s Mom’s Pie and Bleacher Creatures keep the Episcopal community UKnighted. We asked Episcopal alumni and parents to share their favorite traditions and here are just a few.
Amiee Broussard ’85
Graduation- “From the long white dresses and formal black tie to the bouquets and boutonnières, Episcopal’s graduation in the chapel was the same for me in 1985 as it was for my children in 2019.”
Brittany Relle -parent
“Picking a favorite EHS tradition is a hard one! If I had to choose, I would say Pinwheels for Peace. I LOVE everything it stands for and seeing pictures of the kids’ sweet faces as they participate. The Blessing of the Pets is pretty sweet too!”
Mollie Hill ’84
-White long dresses and tuxedos at graduation
-Long dresses for the Homecoming court on game night
-The special graduation ring designed for EHS
Do you have a favorite Episcopal tradition? We’d love to hear about it! Share the details in the comments section below.