August 10th, 2012

Elementary Excellence: St. Mary Academy

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: St. Mary Academy
photo from Scott Porter

Porter ready for more Monarch victories

St. Mary Academy has no doubt found success as a grade school since its start in northeast Louisville location in 2009.

Yet, even since the school’s original start in 2007, the athletic program has operated as “one” team, even with the combination of Immaculate Conception and Mother of Good Counsel athletes.

“Since the beginning, the football team helped us merge as one community. We’ve gone to the Toy Bowl every year except last season. From the first year, our team motto was ‘one school, one team, one heart.’ When people showed up, they wore the school’s colors of green and silver,” said Porter. “Football is the ultimate team sport. The kids all come out and play as a team, The fans are together and the parents are together, so it is really a community and there is nothing quite like it.”

Now, as the Football Coordinator looks to the 2012-2013 school year, Porter is excited to continue teaching the sport, but also get his athletes ready for the next step-high school sports.

“At the third and fourth grade levels, our goal is to introduce the sport at the tackle level,” said Porter. “We want to preach instruction and fundamentals of the game at that level. When they move up to fifth and sixth grade football, it’s more competitive and they can compete for a Toy Bowl. Then, by seventh and eighth grade, not only do we want to fine tune their talents, but get them ready for what they will see in high school.”

Porter remembers a Monarch football team he coached at the fifth and sixth grade level a few years ago. According to him, those athletes went onto the high school stadiums to contribute at the next level with St. Mary Academy values and backgrounds.

“We’ve had a lot of kids going to Trinity High School and St. Xavier High School play minutes at the freshman level. When this group started as freshmen at Trinity, we had a starting guard, starting tight end, starting running back, starting wide receiver, and three kids playing special teams, including the long snapper (from St. Mary Academy),” said Porter. “That speaks volumes. We want them to get technique from us. Winning is nice, but we want them to be good football players, good teammates, and good kids. Winning takes care of itself.”

With roughly 400-500 Monarchs in school this year, Porter is excited to see not only the football program reach first downs, but all of the sports reach new goals.

“There are about 80% of students at St. Mary Academy participating in sports,” said Porter. “Our goal is to provide a quality experience for the students and give them an opportunity to compete at their ability. Our athletic program wants to develop skills for high school so that the students have a good foundation.”

With a new Athletic Director taking over this school year, Andy Powell, Porter is looking down field and into the horizon for new goals to turn into reality.

“As far as venue improvements, we did a major upgrade to the practice field with fundraising. We now have Bermuda grass, and the infrastructure is in place. We would like to have bleachers soon to start hosting games. We would also like to look into hosting soccer and field hockey games next spring. In addition, we are looking into Christmas tournaments and partnerships for all of our teams to get involved in playing games.”

No matter what comes St. Mary Academy’s way in the line of defense, Porter says he will hold true to what he wants to teach his young men on the field and then in life.

Said Porter: “As a football coordinator, we want to teach the kids that they are part of something bigger than themselves. They are playing for the name on the front of the jersey, but also representing the school and their teammates. We teach the X’s and O’s and techniques, but we are out there to be a teacher, a mentor, and give the kids a good foundation. If we taught them how to handle adversity, we’ve done what we’re supposed to do.”


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