May 29th, 2013

Elementary Excellence: St. Edward

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor


Elementary Excellence: St. Edward
St. Edward's seventh/eighth grade track and field team / photo submitted by Kenny Stottman

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.

Kenny Stottman coaches the St. Edward boys’ seventh/eighth-grade track and field team, which won the 2013 CSAA seventh/eighth AA City Championship in April.

“I have a lot of talented kids in that eighth-grade class,” Stottman said. “They won in sixth-grade and wanted to go out in their eighth-grade year and try to win again. A few seventh-graders decided to run as well despite having a lot of other activities going on.  We had a lot of depth on our team.”

Young people sometimes try to play off winning a championship, but Stottman got to see his athletes rejoice when they brought home the victory.

“Sometimes eighth-graders try to be cool,” he said. “But when they heard they won, they jumped up and down and started hugging each other. They were excited. It was fun for them and they were a joy to work with. They were a great group of guys.”

Even though his team had so much talent, Stottman said it had to fight through some adversity to get to the top. Kris Cambron started out as a sprinter. The top two finishers earn points for their team, but the Braves needed another distance runner. So at the last minute Stottman asked Cambron if he was up to running the 1,600 meters despite having no experience.

“Something really unusual happened,” Stottman said. “One of our best guy sprinters ran the mile and did pretty well. … We asked him if he wanted to give the mile and 800 a try. I figured he’d finish in the top eight and help the team. He ended up winning the mile and the 800. His time was remarkable and he basically had never trained for the mile.”

While the Braves’ strengths were running, St. Edward’s Evan Mudd won the shot put and Stottman believes that somebody in heaven may have helped Mudd pull through.

“We’ve had a man named David Hollifield who worked many years with our shot putters,” Stottman said. “About a year ago he passed away with heart failure. Evan Mudd had been working with David since third- and fourth-grade. At the meet he only had one throw left and was in fourth or fifth place. He threw the best throw ever on his last shot and won the shot put. I think we had a divine intervention from Coach Hollifield during that throw. That was nice for him to go out and win the shot put. He had been working for many years with Coach David.”

As with most teenagers, these eighth-graders lead busy lives, so it wasn’t easy to get them to practice.

“I couldn’t get them out to the track too often,” Stottman said. “I had to pull the handles out just to get a few workouts. They’re in eighth-grade, so they weren’t able to work out as a team much because they’re working out with the high school that they’ll be attending next year. But they really came together the last few weeks and got a few practices in.”

Seeing kids achieve their personal goals brings Stottman the most joy, and it doesn’t always have to be the superstar.

“I always enjoy seeing the kids meet their personal goals,” he said. “I coach the girls, too, and I had a girl whose goal was to run a mile in less than seven minutes. She didn’t get an award or anything, but she reached her goal. And it’s always nice to see the smile on their face because they got a personal best.”

 

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