October 28th, 2011

Elementary Excellence: Holy Family

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: Holy Family
photo courtesy of Holy Family School

 Communication is key goal in current season

The following feature is a part of a weekly series called "Elementary Excellence" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic elementary schools and its athletic programs, teams, traditions and excellence in all aspects of sports. Do you want your school to be featured? Send us your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Originally founded in 1927, Holy Family Grade School stands by the motto: “Many are one.”

And with the athletic program standing for the same motto, Athletic Director Mike Fries says he works to serve roughly the 225 students enrolled in school by creating opportunities in sports.

“I do my work for the kids,” said Fries. “You look at the kids, and when they come to practice they are not always so confident. Then, you watch them develop and walk up the steps as they go. The team experience builds confidence in sports and school as well. You watch them smile, and see them excel.”

With an eagerness to help young student athletes learn and achieve, Fries has been the Athletic Director with Holy Family for a year. Yet, before that, Fries assisted in directing as well as coaching sports within the parish.

“My daughter, now in eighth grade, wanted to play sports at Holy Family,” said Fries. “When she was in fourth grade, I was asked to become the basketball coach. I have been involved with sports every since.”

Fries, born in the Germantown area, went to St. Elizabeth for grade school and graduated from St. Xavier in 1974. As a rental specialist with PROLIFT for the past 33 years, he “makes” time to help young Holy Family athletes score on the field and in life.

“In addition to Holy Family, I’ve coached Germantown baseball and softball. I want the kids to believe in themselves and believe in their teammates. I’m a kid at heart. We have fun, and I just love it,” said Fries.

In his time at Holy Family, he says his sports teams have succeeded in different ways.

“Volleyball is excelling right now,” said Fries. “The “B” team in 7-8th grade recently got in the Final Four, and my 5-6th "B" team is in the finals now. We play this Sunday. That’s the highlight right now.”

In addition to volleyball, there are other areas he is proud of within the program.

“Our first year in softball two years ago, we came in third in the tournament. We’ve also done well in track. Basketball is just now starting for the season, and we’ve brought home a few trophies in tournaments and league tournaments in that sport as well,” said Fries.

As athletic director, Fries is also proud of his younger student athlete participation.

“K-2 grades play basketball, and that started last year.  We had good activity out of that program as other schools came to play with us. It’s great for the younger guys to have a chance to play in front of their families,” said Fries.

Holy Family has a partnership with St. James for the athletics, and Fries says communication this year for building a better program is a main goal.

“St. James has created an athletic association, and they come to our social club meetings,” said Fries. “The communication between both schools needs to be improved, but we are learning as we go and building up those steps too. We also are working to utilize and update our website more along with the ability to send out mass emails.”

While Fries may look to leave the athletic director role when his daughter moves onto high school, he says his love for coaching volleyball may very well keep him involved in sports.

Said Fries: “The kids have so much pride in this athletic program, and that stands out for Holy Family as a parish. They come from knowing nothing, and they step up with a smile and do the best they can do.”




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