May 3rd, 2012

Elementary Excellence: OLPH Has Success

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: OLPH Has Success
photo from Michelle Hoffman

Growing soccer participation a feather in Crusader cap

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


Another school year looks to close soon on the Crusaders, but Our Lady of Perpetual Help School Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry Michelle Hoffman says she looks back at the past year as a triumph.


“We continue to see approximately 90 percent of our students in at least one sport,” said Hoffman. “For the young pre-K through second graders, we see excitement for that age group. We added flag football this year for them, and now we have that along with basketball and soccer for the younger grades.”


In the past few years, Hoffman says the younger student athletes have really started to take off within the parish community.


“Two years ago we started soccer for them, then we added basketball that winter and just recently flag football,” said Hoffman. “We had 43 kids in flag football this year. Brent Carver helped run the league and he really pushed things forward this year. He worked with all of the other churches to get the league up and running.”


With the pre-k thru second graders enjoying team dynamics in three sports, Hoffman said soccer, one of those three sports, is a leading athletic program for all Crusaders.


“We have 71 kids pre-k-second grade playing soccer,” said Hoffman. “In addition, we have 58 kids playing in grades 3-8. Soccer is growing, yet we are also excited about our other spring sports.”


Currently, the Crusaders are taking part in golf and track as well as soccer.


“For golf we have a competitive team as well as an instructional league,” said Hoffman. “We also have about 16 students involved in track and field.”


For Hoffman, who is in her third year in her role with the ministry, she says she is excited about the athletic participation in the school. In the future, she would like to invite guests to speak about their own experiences in athletics to the Crusaders’ athletic community.


“The goal I have for our athletic program is that it is not just athletics but also a ministry,” said Hoffman. “I would like to have speakers come in to talk about how sports are a ministry and how they have connected their spirituality to sports.”


Hoffman, who works closely with current athletic director Tom Murphy, said that Murphy will be done in his volunteer role at the end of the month.


“Our next athletic director is not confirmed at this point, but we won’t look to change much (in terms of philosophy or operations).”


Hoffman mentioned that the parish has implemented a Facebook page and is working on more social media outreach for awareness. She hopes the school will continue to score more goals in the future with the right philosophy.


Said Hoffman: “We just want to maintain our program and get the parish involved in a Christian, Catholic atmosphere.”


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