July 9th, 2011

Elementary Excellence: St. Patrick

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer


Elementary Excellence: St. Patrick
photo from St. Patrick Facebook group

Boosters-Celtic Counsel merge bring success to athletic dept.

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 a deep tradition in Catholic athletics, St. Patrick’s Booster Club and Celtic Athletic Counsel merged to form the Celtic Athletic Ministry in November 2009. 

And with that change, Ben Blincoe became President of the Ministry. 

“The Pastor wanted to keep the spiritual feel in athletics, and so we merged together,” said Blincoe. “I was asked to take over the athletic program, and I am really the Chairman of Ministry. We have three athletic directors that operate the programs for girls, boys and our Pee Wee League.” 

A former athlete himself, Blincoe works to teach grades kindergarten-eighth the true lessons learned in athletics.  “Because I was an athlete growing up, I think it helps me work with the school’s athletic program. If you are an athlete, you know what’s important what’s not. I think practice is important. And, spiritual base is very important,” said Blincoe. 

With faith in the forefront, Blincoe says the board works to help the student athletes learn life lessons on the field. 

“We have life lessons we are trying to get coaches to keep teaching. On a spiritual side, the mission of CAM is the life lessons the kids learn in sports program far exceeds the score of the game," said Blincoe. "When you ask them at 20 years old what the score was in their 6th grade game, they would have no idea. But they will remember who they played with and who their coach was in school."

St. Patrick Celtics’ athletics operate with various sports available to all of the grades within the school. With a rather large parish, Blincoe takes pride in the Pee Wee League offered to grades K-4. 

“I’m most proud of the Pee Wee League. Young families have gotten involved in a big parish, and it’s great for CSAA as a whole,” said Blincoe. "Grades K-4 has one of our biggest participation levels with different sports available. The teams are formed per grade. In grades 3-4, we keep the focus on playing time, and it does get more competitive at that level.” 

In addition to the Pee Wee League and teams throughout 8th grade, St. Patrick offers leagues to high school level students and adults. And throughout each sport, as noted on the St. Patrick website, the athletic ministry mission reads: 

"To create a competitive sports program that embraces and demonstrates our Catholic faith and values and ensures equal opportunities for all of our student athletes and adult volunteers."  With that mission statement for all sports, Blincoe says the school has seen success over the years.  “For tackle football, 5th grade recently won CSAA toy bowl and 6th grade AAA went to championship game at toy bowl,” said Blincoe. “Volleyball and football are strong for us.” 

And as the Celtics take pride in their coaches and teammates, they also look forward to possible upgrades in facility space down the road. 

“We have a gym, but we don’t have any green space, and so also no field,” said Blincoe. “Green space is a huge challenge. It’s an exciting time on that front. We want more gym and green space, and we are working on both of those items. It’s our biggest initiative now.” 

Blincoe says he has goals to “secure practice facilities for years to come” while also helping  to reformat the “fundraising initiatives” to create a revenue stream as the head of the athletic ministry.  Yet, ultimately, as St. Patrick moves into a new school year, Blincoe says he looks to help develop young students with strong values they can use for life. 

Said Blincoe: “When they go to high school, our hope is when they get there, the coach knows they have a good Christian based foundation and foundation for the sport. I want a kid that goes, for example, to St. X, for the administration to say, ‘Oh good, we got another St. Pat’s kid'.”

To see past editions of "Elementary Excellence," visit: http://catholicsportsnet.com/louisville/page/elementary-excellence

 

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