March 29th, 2012

Elementary Excellence: St. Edward

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer


Elementary Excellence: St. Edward
photo from Chris Johnson

Braves spike interest in sports, technology and expansion

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 430 students enrolled during this 2011-2012 school year, Athletic Director Mandy Schaffer says she has seen great strides in different areas this year.

“Our softball program has really taken off,” said Schaffer. “We have really good softball teams for the seventh and eighth and third and fourth grade levels with a total of about 34 players. They have been practicing hard, and they are looking forward to games.”

With the fifth and sixth grade girls’ softball program winning a city championship last year, Schaffer says that sport is taking swings into new victories.

“We have a lot of little girls looking forward to playing softball,” said Schaffer. “We also have great coaches that help with the sport. In fact, we have two coaches for the third and fourth grade levels that are brothers. Those teams scrimmage one another and have a good time with it.”

While softball is an area of interest at St. Edward, Schaffer said volleyball has also seen a spike in awareness as well.

“Volleyball is one of the biggest upcoming sports at St. Edward,” said Schaffer. “Our boys third and fourth grade number one team just finished undefeated and each fall we see more girls want to play each year.”

This year, the Braves had three third and fourth grade teams, two fifth and sixth grade teams, two seventh and eighth grade teams for volleyball. In addition, the number one fifth and sixth grade girl’s team won a city championship.

“Jim Scott is our volleyball coordinator, and he’s one of the most amazing people with our athletic ministry,” said Schaeffer. “He’s very organized and he’s played volleyball himself.”

With additional athletic teams such as football and basketball continuing to show strength, Schaffer and Assistant Athletic Director Doug Dawson continue to push Christian values and the Catholic tradition through their sports programs.

“We had growing numbers within our fall and winter sports this year,” said Schaffer. “For instance, we had nineteen girls and boys basketball programs. No matter what the sport is, we are trying to promote school spirit, and the students are having a lot of fun with it.”

According to Schaffer and Dawson, at least roughly 75% of Braves are involved in athletics at some level. And with those levels of participation, Schaffer says she shares the same goals as Dawson for the teams moving forward.

“We want the kids to learn fundamentals, a Christian background and Catholic traditions along with the sports,” said Schaffer. “That’s our whole mission. We want to promote good team building skills for the kids to be able to cope with winning and losing.”

As the Braves finish out this school year, both Schaffer and Dawson say next school year brings excitement and further goals to the surface with new personnel on campus.

“We have a new principal coming this summer, and next year we want to implement behavioral and grade reviews for the students to be able participate in sports. We want the kids to know sports are great, and you should be competitive. Yet, you can’t do that without doing your best in school first,” said Schaffer.

With a new principal on the way, the Eagles Athletic Ministry is excited to look forward, but also to look back and review a year of new successes.

“In the first year of its running, the athletic website, stedwardathletics.com, has overall been a successful resource,” said Schaffer. “Chris Johnson put the website together, and it’s been great for the families and coaches. In addition, this year’s ‘Trivia Night’ fundraiser in January brought home $10,000 to the athletic ministry.”

And Dawson agrees that with each new step made this year, he has additional goals for the future.

Said Dawson: “This year alone has shown a lot of success that we can integrate into our long term goals. We really want to continue to combine success with academics and athletics. Long run goals include trying to expand facilities, facilitate new concrete work and restroom facilities, and possible sponsorship opportunities.”

 

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