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.
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.
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.
Given my profession, my two sons, Griff (8) and Cal (6), are quite exposed to sports. Most of the Lancer community has probably seen them running the sidelines or sitting in the stands at various events.
Sam Reed has been the Director of Athletics at Kennedy Catholic High School since August 2016. He came to Kennedy Catholic just as the Lancers were preparing to move up to the 4A level - the highest classification offered in the State of Washington - and into the North Puget Sound League. As an athletic director in the league, he oversees boys and girls golf, including running both the league and district tournament.
Prior to becoming a Lancer, Reed served as the District Athletic Director and Assistant Director of Student Life for Tacoma Public Schools from 2013-2016. In that role, he oversaw athletics at the District’s five high schools and nine middle schools that offered programming.
From 2007-2013 Reed worked as Athletic Director and Activity Coordinator at Chief Sealth International High School. While there, he served on the Sea-King Eligibility Committee, and as Metro League president and commissioner of boys and girls basketball. He was recognized as the District 2 Athletic Director of the Year in 2012.
Professionally, he currently sits on the West Central District eligibility committee, and served as the meet director of the WIAA's State Track & Field Championships from 2013-2016. He has been an advocate for Special Olympics Unified Sports since its inception in the State, currently serves on their WIAA Advisory Committee, and held a leadership role for the Special Olympics USA Games that came to Seattle in 2018. He has also served on the Board of Directors for Sports In Schools, a non-profit organization that works with area schools and students to enhance the lives of students in need through participating in school-based activities, and can regularly be found serving as a volunteer coach of his kid's youth CYO and YMCA teams.
Reed graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising in 2002. Prior to that, he graduated of Fife High School in Fife, Washington in 1998 where he played basketball, golf and baseball.
Reed lives in West Seattle with his wife, Shelby, and their two boys Griffin (8) and Cal (6).