Beard season champions

A few of the winners of the beard season competition.  Photo by Joseph Lynch.

By Grace King, The Circuit.

Benedictine’s annual Beard Season has come to a close after three and a half months. It starts each year the day of Nov. 1 and goes until the day before Valentine’s Day.

To participate in the competition, each individual is required to be clean-shaven and then work on growing their facial hair throughout February.

Awards are given out to participants ranging from most growth to most suffered.

People differed on whether they wanted to shave immediately or keep it for the long haul. Beard season has even changed how some of the participants view facial hair.

“I’ve never had facial hair before freshman year,” said Nate Sotebeer, sophomore who participated in beard season.

Sotebeer shaved stripes into his beard the day of judging so he could be eligible for best carved.

“I went to the awards and I went to the judging. I am a champion of best carved as the only entry,” Sotebeer said.

When asked why he shaved the night right after the competition ended he gave his thoughts.

“It was hard but it was necessary after already shaving off stripes into it,” Sotebeer said. “I felt like it was something I had to do in order to look professional—in this job hunting season for ministry and RA.”

Another participant, Garrett Kapelski, sophomore also decided on the last day that it was time for it to go.

“I shaved it off immediately after,” Kapelski said. “I just hadn’t seen my face in four months— it was strange. I ran my beard trim over it and I got a razor from my roommate and shaved it all the way down.”

Although many participated, some were still unable to take part in beard season, despite wanting to.

“I think it’s an awesome competition that encourages men to be manly men,” said Daniel St. Hilaire, freshman. “Much to my dismay, I was unable to participate due to lack of facial hair.

Let’s just say I’m probably descended from the elves of Middle Earth.”

Sotebeer shared why he felt inclined to participate this year and last year.

“I am a sophomore and I participated both years,” Sotebeer said. “It’s just a fun event—the Residence Director in my hall [Newman] promotes it a lot. It is fun to talk about it with all of my friends.”

Kapelski had a different approach to why he partook.

“I wanted to be one of those guys that said I did it,” Kapelski said.

Many awards were given at the ceremony during lunch on the day before Valentine’s Day.

The awards are as followed: best carved, burliest, longest hair, best mustache, best sideburns, least growth, most suffered and best faculty beard.

Sotebeer believes beard season presents camaraderie and friendly competition between all of the men’s dorms.