“My parents are tough, but they are great people. They want me to do well, and they expect the best from me.”
Making life more difficult for Bishop was his birth defect, which left him without the majority of his left ear due to Hemifacial Microsomia, according to Ken.
“He’s gone through about 6 or 7 surgeries to get the ear he has now,” said Ken. “The whole inside of his ear is gone. He has also had some jaw problems.”
Inevitably, once Bishop entered school, his ear quickly became a topic of curiosity with students. But while many would attempt to hide, Bishop was very open.
“In the beginning people would ask about it all the time,” he said. “I would always be retelling the story over and over. People didn’t really pick on me about it, but there were questions all the time. It just annoyed me because everyone was asking me over and over and I got tired of retelling the story.”
So Bishop dealt with any awkward situation the way that is most natural to him, with humor.
“I make a lot of jokes about my ear,” said Bishop. “People think it’s funny when I make jokes, and we can all laugh together. I like making people laugh. I have my moments when I am (pretty funny).”
Just the mention of Bishop’s wit quickly brought a smile to the face of his coach.
“Dennis is just a character,” said Lancers football coach Jon Rich. “He is a piece of work. He is a great player with a great personality. It takes a certain kind of person to have a sense of humor like he does. And he is that kind of guy.
“I had Dennis in class last year and he is the class clown type. But when it’s time to get down to business he knows how to do that too. He has been dealing with (missing an ear) his whole life, so I think that makes it easier to crack a joke.”