February 25th, 2011

Elementary Excellence: Holy Spirit

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: Holy Spirit
photo from Holy Spirit Elementary School

Falcons' athletic success moves beyond just football

The following feature is a part of a LouisvilleCatholicSports.com 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.

In the last couple of years, the young Falcons of Holy Spirit have encountered a problem that’s not really a problem at all.

“We need to modernize and reconstruct our trophy case, it needs be deeper to fit the awards. The last four trophies from Toy Bowls can’t really fit now,” joked Holy Spirit football coordinator Marc Breit.

Holy Spirit, located on Lexington Road in St. Matthews, has notably been known through the years for success in soccer, basketball and swimming, according to Breit. Yet, with five consecutive Football Toy Bowl Appearances from 2006-2010, football is yet another success story for the Falcons.

“I love working with the guys to have a positive impact on young men for their futures,” said Breit. “We have a great staff and great coaches who teach the kids to try to be the best. In football, we teach ‘Falcon Brotherhood’ and respect to the kids.”

Along with Breit, whom has worked as the Holy Spirit Football Coordinator since 1999, there are several parents, coaches and volunteers who help guide each team to achieve the highest level of competition. Holy Spirit Athletic Director Gus Herbert credits the entire parish community for Falcon success.

“I started working with Holy Spirit Athletics in 1995, and I’m now in my fourth year as AD,” said Herbert. “I’ve always been a sports fan, and I think athletics are important for kids’ development.”

Herbert says he finds time to contribute to Holy Spirit athletics because he believes in the “character development” found in sports.

“It’s great to have friends from the classroom you also are playing sports with consistently and building onto fundamentals like teamwork in the classroom,” said Herbert.

Holy Spirit has added and improved many sports in the years Herbert and Breit have helped with athletics. In the mid 1990’s, Holy Spirit created their own football team (from their own parish), as they had previously combined with Lourdes to make a complete team. In addition, sports such as tennis, track and cross-country have seen recent success, specifically tennis with a championship just last year.

“We really have seen an expansion of opportunities in the last five to ten years for all athletes, including our kindergarten, first and second graders,” said Herbert.

Holy Spirit has added playing time for the youngest students with junior soccer and volleyball. Herbert credits soccer coordinators Carol Rickert and Linus Schuhmann for their efforts, as well as current junior soccer coordinator Todd Walz.

“Out of 422 kids that go to Holy Spirit, there are 231 playing soccer, so the junior soccer and getting the younger kids involved feeds into sports in the later grade school years,” said Herbert.

In the future, Holy Spirit is looking to add lacrosse as an offered sport, as well as bringing back baseball and field hockey into the mix.

“It’s great to offer a lot of different sports for the kids to engage in physical activity and develop spiritually through teams,” said Herbert. “They are playing and representing Holy Spirit, playing for the parish.”

And while the kids represent the school and parish, they show it in style with a Falcon on their jerseys and uniforms, not to be confused with the “Atlanta Falcons.”

Said Breit: “I worked all summer back in 2004 to have permission from the NFL to use the Falcon. Now, you can see it on the back of cars, helmets and spirit wear. We made it official, and I have a passion, along with the parents and kids on the team to represent the school. It’s a strong logo and identity.”


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