House of Bonhoeffer Clinches House Cup With Historic Run

The House of Dietrich Bonhoeffer at the 2016 Great Race Competition. Photo used with permission. 

The House of Dietrich Bonhoeffer at the 2016 Great Race Competition. Photo used with permission. 

With one competition remaining, the House Cup is no longer up for grabs after an unprecedented performance by the House of Bonhoeffer this year.

Bonhoeffer’s win at the 2017 House History competition clinched this year’s House Cup, as it is statistically impossible for them to finish any lower than on top of the leader board.

“It’s really humbling, as this is also the first time Bonhoeffer has won the House Cup," Bonhoeffer President Josh Hinen ('17) said. 

Bonhoeffer today sits 66 points ahead of the House of Anthony in the standings. With a tenth place finish at Interregnum, Bonhoeffer would finish the year with 506 points — remaining 16 points ahead of Anthony if the latter House were to win the remaining contest. Houses receive from 100 points to 50 points for each competition. The Bonus category, according to Competition rules, are points awarded “based on the percentage of current House members attending” a King’s Athletic Department event, on a scale of 1 to 10. For example, a House which has between 75% and 100% attendance would receive 10 points, with only the most highly attended event counting.

The House Cup Competition standings to date. 

The House Cup Competition standings to date. 

The six competition format was set by The King’s College in the 2006-2007 academic year and, before this year, no House had won the Cup before the conclusion of Interregnum. The House of Churchill was a few points away from a guaranteed win before Interregnum in 2007-2008 but, while Churchill did win the Cup that year, they did not clinch.

"For each competition, we’ve had upperclassmen passionate about the House," Hinen noted. 

Hinen shied away from claiming credit the House's success for himself or his Executive Team. Rather, he and Chamberlain Jonathan Harvill ('18) spoke of a House-first culture within Bonhoeffer's upperclassmen and underclassmen alike. 

"There’s something to having a good community even if you don’t win," Harvill stated. "At the same time, I would attribute us winning to us have a good community because guys are bought in. They care about the House; they care about excellence in competitions.”

Director of Student Life Nick Swedick ('10) confirmed Bonhoeffer's hold on the House Cup title. Additionally, speaking as the Staff Advisor for Bonhoeffer, Swedick testified to the House's community-above-all attitude. 

"I think Bonhoeffer winning the House Cup has been three years in the making, as we've been doing better and better at building our community," Swedick said. “One of the guys on the exec team told me about how, while they were making the House History video, they never talked about winning. They talked about making a beautiful, compelling story to show the House."

While Interregnum is the only remaining Competition, the three day extravaganza also awards its own Cup and greater winnings than the typical Competition, which typically grants 1st, 2nd and 3rd places each $200, $100 and $50, respectively. Interregnum triples the financial awards for placement, to $600, $300 and $150.

“I don’t think a lot of people see or know about the financial incentives to House Competitions," Hinen said. 

King's this year awarded Bonhoeffer $525 in winnings alone, which Hinen notes they have not spent, as they have "actually been really stingy this year." Bonhoeffer will receive an additional $1000 for winning the House Cup. 

The Interregnum Cup is still up for grabs but Hinen wants Bonhoeffer to aim for that trophy as well. He has striven to be an active President in leading the House and does not want that to stop now, despite their unprecedented success. He traces his ambition back to when he first came to King's but was planning to leave after freshman year, because he "didn't have a deep bond" with the Bonhoeffer.

“It’s really not something I understood freshman year until Interregnum and I saw Lewis hoist the House Cup that year," Hinen declared. 

As a parting piece of advice, and motivation for the Interregnum Cup, Swedick believes that Competitions are not — and should not be — about winning.

"If your only measurement for a successful Competition is placing then it’s very easy to lose. There are 10 houses and at least one house is going to get tenth. You need other measurements of success. The Houses who best understand that will have the most success, beyond Competitions," Swedick added.