May 23rd, 2012

Elementary Excellence: St. Gabriel Park

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: St. Gabriel Park
photo from Kyle McGinty

Leopards run into 26 acre addition for parish community

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

New land and new opportunities describe the buzz around St. Gabriel right now.

Athletic Director Kyle McGinty said he is thrilled with the announcement of additional land that St. Gabriel will gain moving into the 2012-2013 school year.

“We hope to close on the land by July of 2012,” said McGinty. “We’re very excited. The expansion will be big for us as we hope to add two baseball fields, a football field, a practice soccer field and a gym.”

St. Gabriel, which has been “land locked” according to McGinty, will now be able to utilize new space for athletic practices and events.

“The field space will create new excitement for the athletes to compete for the school,” said McGinty. “If all goes well, we could use the land to practice there this fall. We definitely hope by next spring to be able to use the land for youth soccer, and we would like to host a powder puff league in the future as well. We hope to also grow football, baseball and softball with the land.”

According to McGinty, the 26 acres will hopefully house a tennis court, walking track, an outdoor worship center and two acres of woods for camping and outdoor projects for use by the entire parish. As for the athletes, he says the new land will add a whole new dimension to activity for the Leopards.

“For sports, we plan to use the space for everything from adult leagues to youth, five to six days a week,” said McGinty.

While St. Gabriel has borrowed field space for practice up to now, McGinty said that the Leopards have still maintained a tradition of success for many years.

“We had a city championship this year in girls’ track, and we’re very competitive in softball with wins three years in a row,” said McGinty. “With football, we had success with our 6th grade and 8th grade teams this past fall. In addition, we just added bowling in March, and our archery team qualified for the state tournament for the first time ever. We hope to look to possibly add lacrosse to our sports program in the future as well.”

With Olympic sports such as tennis and track growing as well, McGinty said the expansion will only bring more space for success.

Said McGinty: “With sign ups, there was always the question about ‘Where do we practice?’ up to now. It was a three-year process with many meetings and an effort from parishioners. We worked hard to get through the process.”


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