February 17th, 2012

Elementary Excellence: Eagle Basketball

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: Eagle Basketball
photo courtesy of Lisa Whitlock

 Holy Trinity Parish School hoops run deep on court

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 of Cherrywood Road in St. Matthews, the Eagles’ gym hosts quite a lot of activity, according to basketball coordinator Don Kohler.

“Among the grade school, we have about 350 student athletes playing basketball,” said Kohler. “For instance, for 5th and 6th grade boys, we had 90 registrants and with that age of girls, we had 31 registrants. For 7th and 8th grade boys we had 67, and for 7th and 8th grade girls we had roughly 36 registrants.”

And along with that, Kohler said aiming high on participation doesn’t stop with just the student athletes.

“Our goal every year, with every sport, is to encourage participation to all of our eligible parish members,” said Kohler. “We have a very robust basketball registration in total, and that’s always been the fact at Holy Trinity. We are very proud of that. We also have a robust non parent-coaching network.  Five of nine coaches this season are non-parent coaches.”

According to Kohler, participation is a key to how the Eagles “measure success.”

“Wins and losses are a separate measurement, but we ultimately want every kid to have an enjoyable time playing,” said Kohler. “I think that because our focus is significantly more on participation and less on hanging banners, we have more kids want to play. We don’t emphasize winning, but we make it fun regardless if we are winning. When we find winning is more important, we address it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Kohler said while he puts the emphasis on participation and fun, those elements have ultimately led to some great achievements for the teams during this 2011-2012 season.

“All of the teams throughout the year have showed great sportsmanship,” said Kohler. “Most teams have winning records. There are 23 teams and I think 22 have winning records with two or three teams undefeated.”

In addition, Kohler says the players are right in the middle of excitement on the court.

“As of today, we still have seven teams in grades 5-8 looking for a city championship,” said Kohler.

In addition to success in the upper grade school ages, Kohler said he didn’t want to leave out information about additional divisions found at Holy Trinity.

“In grades 3-4, we have 12 teams (six teams of girls and six teams of boys). They play a five game schedule with one hour of practice a week. We want them to all be competitive. If you add it up, our school has 35 teams for grades 3-8.”

And the fun doesn’t stop with the younger ones, according to Kohler.

“We have a high school program as well,” said Kohler. “The CSAA has a program for parish teams beyond 8th grade in basketball. We have student athletes that play to represent the parish, and with three Junior Intermediate League (9-10 grades), we have a complete total of 38 teams at Holy Trinity.”

With so many people proud to represent the Eagles on court, Kohler said he has fond memories of this season. Yet, he shared insight about a team that has showed some magic during their games lately. And that’s not a joke.

Said Kohler: “Our 6th grade boys’ number six team has eked out three consecutive “one-point come from behind” victories in three tournament games, including two against other Holy Trinity teams.  I call the coach Houdini.”


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