May 11th, 2012

Elementary Excellence: Ascension

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer


Elementary Excellence: Ascension
photo from Dink Horstman

Longhorns proud of tradition and renovations

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.

In his fourth year as Ascension’s Athletic Director, Dink Horstman says this year for the Longhorns has brought excitement with renovated facilities for student athletes.

“Most of what has been done includes interior painting, new trophy cases, replaced banners, added signage at the gym, and new grass on the football field,” said Horstman. “We hope to add new bleachers this year, and we want to upgrade the football field fencing as well in the future. We are proud of the renovations because our parishioners take on the work themselves. Our athletic program’s funding is self sufficient.”

In addition to facility updates, Horstman, who has also been a basketball coach for almost 18 years, said that his passion for involvement in the athletic program is as strong as ever.

“I love the kids. I love coaching the kids. I played basketball at Trinity and Indiana University Southeast. I love the interaction with what’s going on with the younger parents. As long as I am capable, I want to coach.”

Horstman, who joins other long-time coaches for the Longhorns such as Joe Schueter (coach for almost 35 years) and Dave Schneidtmiller (over 25 years), according to Horstman, is one main reason the athletic program continues to excel.

“We have coaches that are dedicated to the program, and that’s great for the kids,” said Horstman. “We have 12 sports available to the students, and our K-2 programs are doing very well. Soccer and volleyball are doing wonderfully. The kids going onto the third and fourth grades are showing skills never seen before, and our intramural program is to thank for that. We have lots of parent involvement.”

While Ascension’s teams did not bring home any championships this year, according to Horstman, he said he’s proud of the overall teams’ performances.

“We have combined our sports teams with other schools such as St. Martha and that has worked well to make teams for the kids,” said Horstman. “Our younger grades are growing the most right now, and the numbers for the next few years look to become a whole lot stronger. We hope to be able to have a football team (numbers) for the school five years or so down the road.”

With 205 students enrolled at the school this year, according to Horstman, he says that he hopes to continue to see the athletic program grow in popularity, but also organization.

“Our athletic website has been a process over the last two years, and I want to see upgrades with the sign ups so parents can go online and see everything to do with our athletics,” said Horstman.

As Horstman continues to push his Longhorns’ athletics, he says he will put the focus on what his own athletic experience has taught him throughout the years.

Said Horstman: “I try to help parents and students understand about sports. Many kids are so focused on Division I in their years’ to come. With the few students that do play in high school, only about five percent will play in college. If you want to work hard, there is a place to play. You don’t have to be Division I to enjoy the game. I want to instill that in the kids now, and I want to make sports enjoyable. I think I’ve accomplished that over the years.”

 

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