November 26th, 2012

Elementary Excellence: St. Gabriel

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Elementary Excellence: St. Gabriel
file photo by Megan Stearman

The St. Gabriel athletic program is under the spotlight

The following feature is a part of a weekly series called "Elementary Excellence" - a set of profiles that 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

St. Gabriel is the largest catholic elementary school in Jefferson County with 800 plus students to service. Kyle McGinty, St. Gabriel’s athletic director sets a series of goals to ensure the athletic program is run smoothly.

“Our goal each year is to have 100 percent participation among our students at St. Gabriel,” said McGinty. “We now offer fourteen sports here and we hope that we offer something for everyone.  Our bowling team and archery team are the fastest growing sports currently at Gabriel so we look to build off of these sports that are rising in our community.”

In recent years, the St. Gabriel football program has found a lot of success. The eighth graders dropped a heartbreaking 14-8 decision in the Toy Bowl to St. Albert. McGinty credits the coaching staff for their commitment to the program even though none of them have a child on the team.

“We have a great coaching staff who has been together now for 5 years,” said McGinty. “The most important part of this is that all eight guys do not have kids on the team.  We have been to three straight Toy Bowls after not winning one for over 20 years. The staff stressed making football fun and exciting.”

Their success runs beyond football. After not winning a CSAA city title in volleyball for nearly 25 years, St. Gabriel ended the drought this year when their sixth grade A team brought home the title.

“We had our first sixth grade A championship in over 25 years this season,” said McGinty. “Chris Hellmann, our coach has been with this team for over seven years and has been to the championship before so it was nice to see him win it this time in his last season coaching sixth grade.”

Now that football and volleyball are over, McGinty shifts his focus to their basketball program. The Leopards field 43 teams for their students in K-8.

“We always field competitive basketball teams and a lot of them,” said McGinty. “We have sixteen 5th-8th grade teams this year and twenty-seven K-4 teams. We have a new 8th grade A coach this season in David Wood who played at Trinity High School and Spalding so it should be interesting to see how our 8th graders perform with the new coach. Our success lately though has been with the girls program. Our 6th and 8th grade A coaches have both won city titles and will be looking to win another one this season.”

McGinty acknowledges that running an athletic program is tough especially with St. Gabriel being the largest in Louisville, but he enjoys watching the kids grow each year.

“I enjoy working with the people I work with daily at St. Gabriel,” said McGinty. “Seeing the kids go on to compete at a high school level is a neat thing now that I have been here long enough to witness the kids literally grow up.  I have been coaching here for nine years now and AD for four years. The best part of this program is all of the coaches who volunteer each year but do not have a kid on the team.  That is the number one thing we strive for and it makes our teams more fair and competitive each year.”



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