July 20th, 2012

Elementary Excellence: St. Bernard

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: St. Bernard
photo from Ken Zickel

Wildcats seek new participation with increased enrollment

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.

After the first complete school year in their roles as Athletic Director and Booster Club President, Ted Scheiss and Ken Zickel say they are proud of the 2011-2012 season.

“Last year went really well,” said Scheiss. “We want to continue to put the kids in the right position to be successful, and we have had more coaches and volunteers getting involved in athletics.”

With increased interest in field hockey and powder puff football, just to reference a few St. Bernard activities, Scheiss and Zickel continue to look for other new sports to bring to the Wildcats.

“We are starting archery this year. I never would have dreamed of kids getting involved with that through school. My goal is to always explore new opportunities at St. Bernard,” said Zickel. “We would like to have a lacrosse program possibly this year as well.”

According to Zickel, St. Bernard has seen roughly 400 kids enrolled at the school in the past. Yet, this year, the Wildcats look to have 415-420 students at the school.

More numbers could bring more students to the athletic fields and courts for participation. With that opportunity, Zickel said there are a few goals in mind to update facilities for athletic needs.

“We’ve got great fields, but we could always use more room for practice. One of our biggest expenses is gym rental for basketball. I would like to have a new gym in the future to help with that issue, but there’s nothing that’s in the works now. That’s a long-term goal. We do want to add a deck to our press box. Also, last year, we added Bermuda grass to the football field. We are still working on grass on the field. We believe that will be a stronger grass to use so we can play more games.”

With a history of success in different sports through the years, Scheiss said field hockey highlights a great part of the 2011-2012 school year.

“We won our league (undefeated) in field hockey, but we lost in the semi-finals,” said Scheiss. “I know we will have at least three teams at St. Bernard next year for the sport.”

And with other highlights that include a fifth and sixth grade basketball city championship this past year, Scheiss and Zickel want to build momentum from last season going into the next across the athletic department.

“We have high hopes for our seventh and eighth grade football team this fall,” said Scheiss. “For the girls, we are looking for more space with powder puff football because other parishes have gotten involved with it.”

With new students, new sports and lots of caring Wildcat parents and volunteers, St. Bernard looks to move forward toward the goal line.

Said Zickel: “It’s very rewarding. People ask why I give my time, and I just feel like it’s my responsibility to be involved. It’s been a great year. I want to offer as many sports as possible, and I want to give kids the vehicle to be involved in everything they want to do.”


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