August 12th, 2011

Elementary Excellence: St. Athanasius

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer


Elementary Excellence: St. Athanasius
photo from St. Athanasius

 New school year brings new opportunities

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.

Located off Outer Loop in Louisville, the St. Athanasius Hornets are busy buzzing around new opportunities going into the 2011-2012 school year.

And Athletic Director, Mark Wesley, says he excited to move into the new season with renovated facilities for the student athletes.

“People who knew what the school’s facilities looked like three to four years ago, and then, look at it now, it’s changed a lot,” said Wesley. “Lots of volunteers made it happen, and it’s not just a one man show. We have volunteers clean and maintain the facilities on a regular basis. It’s a huge accomplishment, and I’m proud of it. We want to maintain the facility, and we have people who are willing to do what needs to be done to do that.”

Since Wesley became AD more than three years ago, after his previous work with Guardian Angels, he has been a part of the upgrades for a new soccer field complex and score box for the softball field.

“I love what I’m doing,” said Wesley. “The renovations have been a two year process. I want it to be a top-notch athletic program for the student athletes to enjoy the campus.”

In addition to the facilities, Wesley and his staff have recently added flag football for the young guys to the program. He says that he hopes the sports teach lessons for life from an early age.

“We want to get the people in the parish and parents involved. It’s about the kids getting an education in the Catholic community and being well rounded. Winning is not everything, but we like to compete,” said Wesley.

This year, the St. A Hornets are moving into some new levels within the grade school athletics, and Wesley is looking forward to the change.

“Based on numbers within our school, we actually got moved into Class A for football in fifth and sixth grades, and seven and eighth grades are going from AA to AAA. We are excited for the opportunity,” said Wesley.

The Hornets have had their share of success in recent years on the athletic fields, and Wesley says he hopes to continue that momentum this year, in addition to the football changes.

“Our girls softball and boys baseball have done very well, and girls volleyball is really coming on,” said Wesley. “Football is getting numbers back up, and in flag football we are four teams deep this year.  In addition, the cheerleaders have had success due to their continuous hard work.”

Ultimately, Wesley says he wants to continue an atmosphere of hard work mixed with priorities of Catholic faith on the athletic fields, no matter what the final score shows at the end of games.

Said Wesley: “97% of our kids involved in sports are A/B students, and that’s a great accomplishment. Our coaches teach the importance of prayer, and we really preach that. I’ve been around sports for a long time, and I’m so grateful I can be the athletic director at St. A.” 

 

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