Sports offered include boys flag football, girls lacrosse and co-ed swimming and cross country in early fall; boys basketball and girls soccer in early winter; girls basketball and boys soccer in late winter; and girls volleyball, boys baseball, coed tennis and coed water polo in the spring. These sports are open to all students in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 with some exceptions(water polo and tennis). Fourth graders are invited to participate in the boys (early winter) and girls (late winter) basketball seasons only. Occasionally, if space is available on 5th grade teams, 4th graders may have the opportunity to play up, but that varies based on student interest. In addition to the team sports, we also have a League Swim Meet in October and League Track Meet in May for grades 4-8 and a middle school golf tournament(one in the fall and one in the spring).
To participate in sports teams, the Athletic Directors ask that you sign-up in advance, using forms posted on the Athletics tab of the website, under Lower/Middle School. Students are told at school when sign-up time is. A reminder is also sent to parents via an e-bulletin announcement.
Evaluations often occur in PE class. Sacred Heart Lower/Middle School has a no-cut policy, so everyone who signs up is placed on a team. On mixed grade level “A” teams, there can be afterschool tryouts.
Team selection is based on four factors: evaluations before the start of the season, performance in PE class related to that sport, performance on teams in prior years, and outside camp/league experience. The Athletic Director, PE teacher, and individual coaches jointly select players.
Within each division, SHS may have one or several teams depending on the number of students who participate. Some may be single grade and some may be mixed. While grade-level teams obviously provide opportunities to strengthen relationships among peers, mixed grade level teams provide a greater degree of interaction between players of different grades as well as help build strong friendships outside one's class. It also provides a strong cooperative learning experience. The Athletic Directors decide which option best fits each group of athletes. Since everyone who signs up plays, the number of students participating may also be a factor.
The Athletic Department asks for you to volunteer to be a Team Parent or Team Photographer annually for each of your children. Team Parents primarily send helpful weekly reminders that summarize website information regarding upcoming games, practices, and sports policies. Team Photographers take group and individual action or candid shots which are used year-round on the website. If you would like to assist in another way, please contact Associate Athletic Director, Liz Hogan firstname.lastname@example.org or Head Athletic Director Jeff Reynoldsjreynolds@shschools.org.
Teams practice after school and in PE classes.. A good majority of our teams do practice during PE time, however this is dependent on their coaches availability at PE time, mixed grade level teams will have to practice after school. All practices are on campus.
There are several reasons for this. One is that fields or floor space are limited and on some days if all teams were to practice afterschool, practices could run until 9 or 10pm, and that’s late for students. We have found that PE practices alleviate space and time constraints, allowing mixed grade level teams to have earlier afterschool practices – meaning fewer trips back and forth to school for parents. However, they are dependent upon coach availability and the team being the same grade level. If a team practices during PE, it occurs twice a week and the other 2 days are with the rest of their class.
Games are played inside at the Spieker Lower/Middle School gymnasium, or outside on SHS or SHP fields when games are at home. Away games are hosted by the competitor at the location of their choice. Some schools have multiple campuses, so parents need to make sure they have the correct location for a given game. Some schools compete off campus, at alternate facilities.
Equipment needs vary by sport, but generally speaking, Sacred Heart provides most game equipment. Players always need to provide their own shoes. Team parents will tell families what gear needs to be bought individually; items typically include cleats, socks, shorts, and personal items like mouth guards or shin guards, volleyball knee pads, lacrosse sticks and equipment, baseball gloves/bats, tennis racquets towels, and water bottles for practices and games.
Sacred Heart Lower/Middle School generally does not provide transportation. It is the parents' responsibility to transport, or arrange carpool transit, to away games. A select number of coaches are cleared and willing to drive the school vans to games when available. In those cases the athletic director will let the team parent know a van is being driven to the game.
This is done once a year at the annual May Sports Celebration. Envelopes are prepared for each student and contain ribbons won at League meets, medals for championship teams, and medals for participation on a team. Students pick up these envelopes as they enter the gym. A program will list championship teams. The evening event includes dinner, a video highlighting the year’s athletic events as well as a small number of individual awards.
At the Sports Celebration, awards are presented for the early May track meet competitions in running and field events. Great honor is associated with receiving one of the Class Sportsmanship Awards, given to one boy and girl athlete in 5th, 6th, and 7th grades. Additionally, a boy and girl "Athlete of the Year' are selected from the 8th grade. Great honor is associated with receiving the Eagleson and Lochtefeld Sportsmanship Awards; these are given for outstanding sportsmanship to one 8th grade female and male athlete. A new honor for 8th graders is a coach’s award. Finally, recognition is given to 8th grade families whose youngest child is graduating from Middle School – thanks parents for supporting your child in SHS Athletics all these years!
League scheduling gets very complicated and if every team whose players had a conflict tried to move games, sports scheduling would not be manageable. The Athletic Department works with the school to minimize conflicts and apologizes for tough nights when they happen.