July 5th, 2012

Elementary Excellence: Sacred Heart Model School

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: Sacred Heart Model School
photo from Keith Morgan

SHMS athletic's key to success: consistency in coaching staff

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.

Sacred Heart Model School has enjoyed a terrific 2011-2012 athletic campaign. From basketball to swimming, football to lacrosse, the elementary school that produced Olympians Caroline and Clark Burckle had its share of winning moments and great experiences for all involved.

With an enrollment right around 400 students, the SHMS teams rely on experienced and dedicated coaches to help their student-athletes achieve success.

Currently, the 7th/8th grade field hockey team is having a fantastic season and will be playing for a spot in the CSAA championship game next week.

“Our 7th/8th grade field hockey team is now in the semifinals of the CSAA, and play on July 10,” said SHMS Athletic Director Keith Morgan. “They went undefeated this year with just a 1-1 tie. They scored 26 goals this season, and allowed one goal against them this season.”

The club field hockey team has had a strong season as well with several 7th graders looking to step in and continue the winning tradition.

“They (the club field hockey team) are a very strong team and hope to win in the next year,” said Morgan. “They’re led by some younger kids. We’re optimistic for next year and looking to win CSAA Title.”

Morgan cites the strong, dedicated coaching staff as a key to the success for the SHMS athletic teams. “The coaches are so dedicated and put a lot of time into helping teaching these kids.”

Other SHMS teams that experienced success this season include the 5th/6th grade boys and girls basketball teams. Noted Morgan, “Four different teams (A and B Teams for girls and boys) all did well in city, one 5th/6th grade girls team won city, and the boys competed well. There are good things going on with our basketball program.”

Consistency in the coaching staffs has been part of the model for the success of the teams at SHMS.

“With basketball, many players play other leagues and know each other,” said Morgan. “The players are really dedicated.”

The SHMS swim team had a 2nd place finish at the CSAA meet this past year. And Morgan pointed out that many students are playing more than one sport and their talents really help the teams.

“We have a lot of crossover with athletes excelling in more than one sport,” he said. “They’re good athletes, but also a good group of students and leaders with their peers.”

Not only are the coaches and student-athletes strong, but SHMS can point to world-class swimmers Caroline and Clark Burckle as role models in the water and in the classroom.

“I think it (the Burckle’s as alums and their legacies) does everything in the world to help our kids,” said Morgan. “I’ve done everything I can to get that word out, and we’re really proud of them. It is tremendous exposure for our school that Clark is an alumnus. The success that family has had and their connection with swim clubs around town is incredible. The younger kids look at that and they’ve got a kid that grew up at SHMS and they can watch at the Olympics this year. It doesn’t get much neater than that. It gives kids something they can aspire to. Those kids came right from the Model School.”

SHMS's lacrosse program became a school sanctioned sport this past season (from a club sport). And Morgan liked what he saw.

“Lacrosse was successful,” he said. “We built a team for 3rd through 8th grades, combined with St. Margaret Mary this season. It’s an upcoming, rising sport. There were a lot of people approaching us about the sport this past year and it was a lot of fun. I look for great things from that sport in the future.”

Said Morgan, “All in all, the state of our athletic program is at a good point. We have a certain amount of kids to pull from, so it’s a balancing act. I’m just impressed with the number of kids who participate in sports. I tell them to find something they like and get involved.”


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