Earlier this fall, I had the opportunity to attend The Aspen Institute's Project Play Summit in Detroit, Michigan.
As Athletic Director, I am beyond proud of the work our coaches and student-athletes to continue to raise the bar as to what it means to be a Lancer. As an athletic community we have pushed hard to define and build our championship culture and have continued to develop in and out of competition through our four covenants – passion, integrity, service and grit.
There are so many memorable days in a school year (and in a sports season) perhaps none as invigorating to me personally as when we gather all of our in-season student-athletes in the gym for our annual media day.
Before the madness of picture day started, I have the opportunity to stand before often more than 300 student-athletes – all in uniform, and all excited to be Lancers – to briefly speak to them about the privilege of wearing the Kennedy Catholic name across their chests, the legacy they are carrying on from so many of our alumni, and the responsibility they have to represent our community in all they do.
I always come away from that event even more confident and excited for what the future has in store for our school, athletic department, and programs. In fact, I can't wait for the next one.
Maybe it's the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, but lately I've been doing a lot of reflecting on all that goes into making a successful high school athletic program.
Parents, just as coaches, are often told how to support our student-athletes when they fail. What to say (or not to say) after a tough loss, a frustrated moment or a heart-breaking miscue. Spend any moment of time around a young athlete and you're sure to have a quiet car ride or twenty.
Of all the events that make up graduation week here at Kennedy Catholic, my favorite is the moment during Baccalaureate Mass when each member of the senior class selects an item to carry forward and be blessed.
Last week I stood in front of all our incoming Lancer families and talked in detail about the benefits of participating in high school athletics, including being part of a team, meeting new friends, and the mental and physical challenge.