February 13th, 2013

Elementary Excellence: St. Raphael

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Elementary Excellence: St. Raphael
St. Raphael is in the green / file photo by Conor Revell

A brief overview of the St. Raphael athletic program


John Plumeri is the St. Raphael athletic director and runs their sports program. In 2012, 406 students attended the school located in the historic Highlands neighborhood.


“My goal as athletic director is to make our sports program better for our kids,” Plumeri said. “Being land locked as St. Raphael is I wanted to get practice fields and game fields that our kids can call their own. We have done that in merging with John Paul as we practice and play our football and baseball games there.”


While St. Raphael can’t host football contests, the Giant are now hosting basketball and volleyball games.


“I also wanted to have CSAA league games in our gym for basketball and volleyball,” Plumeri said. “We have done that the past 3 years. It's great for the kids playing home games, and for people to see our great facilities and school spirit. I also wanted to give our younger kids (K-2) a way to get involved in more sports. They now have flag football, basketball and volleyball they can get involved in. We are definitely moving in a positive direction.”


As mentioned earlier, the St. Raphael football program merged with John Paul, but with the merger, came with consequences.  


“In football we are playing in the AAA division because we merged with John Paul to get enough players,” Plumeri said. “Unfortunately that puts us up against teams with double our numbers on the field. There has been positive progress the past three years and I expect that we will continue to improve.”


The Giants volleyball program is competitive and Plumeri is proud that the coaches are consistent in what they teach.


“We have a lot of interest in volleyball and we hold our own,” Plumeri said. “We usually have a couple of teams that play in the city tournament. We have a lot of consistency as far as our coaches and coordinator. So with that solid foundation, we will continue to be competitive.”


During the 2012-2013 season, the Giants have enjoyed playing in a new division.  


“Our basketball teams have their ups and down,” Plumeri said. “About half our teams have fared well. The other half are not doing so well. It's hard to be competitive when we have 20 boys in a grade tryout and teams that we are playing have 50. But I believe things are better than they were.”


Plumeri accredits that improvement in the CSAA because of Director Rick Arnold.


“I think Rick Arnold has been a huge positive for CSAA sports,” Plumeri said. “This year is the first year we've had 3 divisions in basketball. That definitely puts us in a better position to succeed.”


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