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If there’s one thing that sets Bishop Guilfoyle athletics apart from other schools, it’s the amount of participation among students, staff, coaches and alumni. “We have about 85 percent of our student body involved in athletics, most of them in multiple sports,” said BG principal Joan Donnelly.

If the students aren’t involved in more than one sport, they are often involved in other extracurriculars, such as the peer ministry group or the drama club. This involvement has led to both academic and athletic successes.

The football team, for example, has earned some definite bragging rights—three consecutive state titles and 50 consecutive wins. But winning is only part of it.

“Obviously we want the kids to win and we want to be competitive, [but] we try to stress more importantly that they have a good experience and enjoy what they are doing,” said Vice Principal and Athletic Director Michael Cacciotti. “It is important that they enjoy being together and represent themselves and the school in the most positive way they can.”

Students at BG have many opportunities to get athletically involved this fall. Annual fall sports include football, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross country, girls volleyball, girls tennis, boys and girls golfl, and cheerleading.

Much of the collective strength garnered by the BG community has accumulated through generations. Cacciotti himself attended BG and played on the football team. His daughter is currently enrolled in the school.

Cacciotti claims that it's many different components working together that help make the school successful both academically and athletically. “The faculty is willing to go that extra mile. The coach[es] have put in a lot of hard work and a lot of time so the kids are prepared,” said Cacciotti. “All of those pieces have to work together hand in hand.”

The small size of the school and tightly-knit community also lends itself to athletic success. “We’re a small school and [athletics] is an extension. The dedication of the teachers follows into the dedication of the coaches,” said Donnelly. “Our stats on our graduating classes—there’s some real consistency. 20 to 25 percent of our athletes go on to play at the college level.” One student who graduated last year is now attending Harvard to play football.

With this athletic success comes recognition. BG has been visited by many well-respected coaches. James Franklin of Penn State, Tom Bradley of UCLA and many other football coaches have come through and given BG accolades. “When you have someone that’s obviously been all over the country tell us we have a great culture here, it’s great to hear,” said Cacciotti.