June 2nd, 2012

Elementary Excellence: St. Athanasius

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: St. Athanasius
photo from stathanasiuslouisville.com

Parish, Hornets review successful year in athletics

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.

When it comes to facilities for athletics, third year Athletic Director Mark Wesley says the Hornets’ recent renovations make him excited to be a part of the athletic program.

“This year was great for us,” said Wesley. “With the new soccer facility we had two fields that ran CSAA games including ten games on Saturdays and ten games on Sundays, and that was a big thing for us. Also, we had a score box update over the softball field. We had three seventh and eighth grade softball games every Saturday and Sunday all while soccer was going on too.”

Yet, it’s not just renovations that get Wesley excited about his young student athletes.

“We added flag football this year, and we had 60 K-2 student athletes participate in it,” said Wesley. St. Raphael, St. Michaels, and possibly St. Stephen Martyr are going to get involved this upcoming year in the program.”

And overall, Wesley saw success this school year on many levels and in many arenas.

“Our numbers are up in athletics,” said Wesley. “With about 520 students enrolled this year, about 400 of the kids (K-8) participate in at least one sport. 97% of the kids have an A/B average in the classroom. Every two weeks, I’m in touch with the principal for grades and behavior updates. We’re right where we were last year with academics, and we push that academic bar hard.”

In terms of victories on the fields, Wesley saw that as well.

“Our third and fourth grade football teams each went undefeated this year in the leagues they played,” said Wesley. “Our volleyball teams and basketball teams made it to games in the CSAA finals, but came up short. As far as our sports this spring, we had a fifth and sixth grade softball team start the CSAA tournament undefeated, as well as a seventh and eighth grade soccer team start the CSAA tournament undefeated. Our third and fourth grade soccer team went undefeated as well this year.”

With a change in coaching staff this year across different sports and grades, Wesley is excited about where the program is headed in the future.

“The sports are getting where we want them,” said Wesley. “We are a few years out from what we want with more participants. The renovation is for the kids and parents to watch to enjoy a clean campus, and we’ve had nothing but praises about the updates at school.”

The Hornets will not sit on this year’s renovations for long, as they are already flying around the idea of a new softball field.

“We are in the process of possibly adding a new softball field in the back of our campus. We have two fields now, but with baseball and softball teams, we are thinking about adding a new field for machine pitch, t-ball, and third and fourth grade baseball and softball. We are in the process of starting that plan in the fall of 2012.”

With a goal to be “competitive but in every sport” but also “produce good kids”, Wesley says it’s been a year to remember.

Said Wesley: “I was at a dance recently for the eighth graders. Every one of them shook my hand and gave me a hug. They said, ‘Thanks for the upgrade in our facility and the chance to play 8th grade year (with the upgrades)’. I love to see the kids smiling and the parents saying, ‘we have a beautiful campus.’ It makes you feel like you did the right thing.”


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