July 22nd, 2011

Elementary Excellence: St. Agnes

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: St. Agnes
photo by Chris Jung

Participation drives success for Saints

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.

With roughly 96% of St. Agnes’ students involved in athletics, Athletic Director Pat O’Bryan says the school’s message and philosophy is simple.

“We want to teach the game, we want the kids to enjoy the game and we stress sportsmanship at every level. We view coaching as an extension of the classroom and we hold our coaches to that standard,” said O’Bryan. “We know that a child participating in athletics is more successful in the classroom because that’s what is demanded to participate.” 

And with such a high percentage of student athletes taking to the field, O’Bryan, whom just finished his first full year as Athletic Director, says the lessons learned through sports are exceptional. 

“The kids learn how to work with as a team. They learn to respect each other and hopefully they are more physically fit and learn to live a healthy lifestyle,” said O’ Bryan. 

St. Agnes, located on Newburg Road, has seen success throughout the years in a variety of sports. O’Bryan says football has had its fair share of glory days. 

“Our Football Director (and 7th/8th grade coach) is starting his 19th year at St. Agnes and has overseen a number of Tow Bowl victories. Just last year 5th/6th and 7th /8th grade teams won their respective Toy Bowls,” said O’Bryan. 

But football is definitely not the only sport with its victories. 

“A few years back we had a group of Field Hockey players that won three City Championships in four years, losing only two games over that four year period,” said O’Bryan. “This past year we won championships in basketball, boys volleyball and tennis and set a CSAA record in swimming. Things seem to go in cycles. We are proud to say that we have St. Agnes kids participating in nearly every sport at the High School level.” 

And moving forward, O’ Bryan says he is very excited about the facilities offered to the student athletes on campus, especially with upcoming changes down the road. 

“We have a couple of upgrades to the gym this year. We are boosting our sound system, changing our scorer’s table around, repairing bleachers and hopefully renovating the concession stand. The bids are still out on the renovation but we are hoping to get that done before the volleyball season begins,” said O’Bryan. “I think our facilities give us what we need to compete. We have plenty of space for the outdoor sports to practice. For the most part we have plenty of gym time for volleyball and basketball, and we are able to use some nice facilities for tennis, swimming, track and golf at reasonable costs.” 

St. Agnes Athletics is able to successfully run with directors in place for each sport for grades K-8. In addition, O’Bryan says he’s excited about the young student athletes’ programs, and the overall atmosphere that the parents and coaches create for the students. 

“We currently host a co-ed K-2 soccer league in the spring as well as a boys K-2 volleyball league that coincides with the CSAA seasons. We have a very successful girls K-2 volleyball program where we host games in our gym on Sundays during the fall. We have a 2nd grade flag football program in the fall that participates in the St. Albert league as well,” said O’Bryan. “We have tremendous parent/volunteer support for all of our programs and leagues. A major part of our athletic budget is supported by the CSAA leagues we host and it takes a lot volunteers to make it happen.” 

As O’Bryan and St. Agnes move into the 2011-2012 school year, the student athletes will get their uniforms on with a fresh start, yet play based on the same traditions taught to the Saints before them. 

Said O’Bryan: “Every year we go into each season with a positive outlook. We try to get the best coaches we can get at all levels and we try to be as competitive as we can be at all levels. I think each coach comes in with a great attitude and we don’t just judge success on wins and losses. The goal every year is to teach the game as well as we can, teach sportsmanship and most importantly, have fun playing the game.”


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