July 1st, 2011

Elementary Excellence: St. Francis of Assisi

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: St. Francis of Assisi
photo from flikr.com

Tradition and teamwork bring success to program

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.

The Cougars of St. Francis of Assisi know about tradition.Their church campus is celebrating 125 years this year, and Athletic Director Glen Mudd says that tradition within their spiritual lives follows through to the classrooms and sports teams as well.

“We are a unique, smaller school. St. Francis of Assisi has one class per grade. The small school and family atmosphere attracts me to stay and work here,” said Mudd. "Our athletics program work to raise our own money. We have our own budget and we offer our sports at a verylow cost for all sports activities. People display pride in this school, and sportsmanship as well.”

While a small school, the Cougars have competed well throughout the years in various sports.Mudd says he’s excited about where the program has come from and where it’s going in the future.

“A lot of Catholic grade schools have combined, but St. Francis has stayed the same. We’ve been steady. It’s more challenging being small, but we’ve done well. One example is our 8thgrade soccer, two years ago, won city. Our kids play multiple sports, and it keeps them balancedand active,” said Mudd.

Along with dedication from the student athletes, Mudd says the parents and coaches’ involvementshows the tradition and passion for the school.

“We have coaches that have helped for years and years. Our boys 8th grade basketballcoach has coached for 35 years,” said Mudd. “They’ve had lots of success in playing in citychampionships. A lot of coaches and volunteers don’t have kids here anymore, but they still cometo meetings, fish frys and events.”

The Cougar program likes to get the kids from kindergarten to second grade involved early on inlife with sports.And so, Mudd says the St. Francis of Assisi students have gotten their start early with athletics.

“For K-2, we participate in a league ran by Our Lady of Lourdes with several other schools forsoccer. We also work with St. Agnes for volleyball. It’s vital to the young kids that they have theopportunity to start young. For us, for example, volleyball is has been a growing sport. We justhad two teams in grades seven and eight, three teams for grades five and six, and three teamsfor third and fourth. The kids are becoming more competitive and stick with it,” said Mudd.

While St. Francis of Assisi’s campus is landlocked in it’s Highlands of Louisville location, Muddsays the student athletes continue to work well together when using the school’s gym on site andoutside locations around town. And as the administration moves into next year, one main goal forthe athletic department includes documentation and transparency of athletic guidelines, coachselections, and expectations for organizational purposes.

“We aren’t making any real new rules, we just want the process for all of our sports to be astransparent as possible. We will need to go out and communicate it throughout the program andthrough our website,” said Mudd.

As far as overall goals for the athletes, Mudd wants to continue to instill the same traditions ofteamwork to come down the road.

Said Mudd: “We don’t look at goals about how many competitions we want to win, but the factthat we just want to compete. We want to be competitive. We recognize athletics play a reallyimportant role in kid’s development, and we want to make sure that opportunity is available for allkids. The teamwork concept plays a very important part.”


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