As the fall athletic season comes to an end, I reflect on the experience this season has provided to our student-athletes, as well as the roles that athletics plays in the life of the educational program at Shorecrest and in my life personally. Yesterday’s Giving Day in celebration of Athletics embodies the support that community members have for Chargers Athletics and demonstrates the positive impact that athletics has for many of our students.
Athletics are an integral part of the educational program at Shorecrest. The athletic program consists of 37 interscholastic teams in 13 sports. The objectives of our athletic program are to provide opportunity for physical, emotional and social development and reinforce the physical well-being pillar of our mission. The Chargers Athletics program provides a meaningful experience for our students through physical activity, teamwork, and healthy competition.
Our athletic program instills in its participants the principles of our Core Values of Responsibility, Respect, Integrity, Knowledge and Compassion; and also specifically promotes good sportsmanship, respect for others and fair play. We believe that participating in athletics provides opportunities to develop a strong work ethic, leadership, character, commitment, mental toughness, time management and teamwork.
In August, no one even knew if we were going to be able to have a fall athletic season, much less participate in interscholastic competition. Yet our teams remained steadfast in their training and preparation; their grit and determination were evident in their hard work and weeks of practice. Coaches kept the morale of their teams high and focused on being positive and ready to compete. When word came that our teams were given the go-ahead to play, our Chargers were ready to meet the challenge.
Credit goes to our coaches, many of whom are also Shorecrest teachers and staff members. In recent years, we have been intentionally increasing the number of teachers/staff coaches, raising the percentage from 37% in 2018 to a current 50%, so that right now we have more teacher/staff members who are coaching than we have had in recent memory. Their preparation and commitment resulted in teams who worked together to achieve at their highest potential. Our football players, volleyball players, swimmers and divers, cross-country runners, golfers and cheerleaders represented Shorecrest and earned accolades as they interacted with schools across the Tampa Bay Area and from around the state.
More importantly, our students were able to experience the joy of participation, at a time when other middle school and high school athletes did not have the opportunity to do so, due to the pandemic. Shorecrest athletes were able to be together, win or lose. Our students learned from each other, challenged each other and grew from the experience. As Jill Ellis, coach of the United States women's national soccer team that won two World Cup titles and recent keynote speaker at the Florida Council of Independent Schools annual conference said, “The beauty of being on a team is that you are not alone.”
Athletics has always been important in my life. I love being a part of a team and cherish the bonds I developed with teammates while working towards a common goal. I am absurdly proud of the “Land Sports Champion” trophy I earned at summer camp and fondly recall the basketball and tennis teams that I captained. I have watched my own children compete in soccer throughout their childhood and college years. The relationships that they developed through sports and the lessons they learned through their athletic successes and failures reinforce the value of the experiences that athletics can provide.
Thank you to all who contribute to the athletic program
at Shorecrest and congratulations on a fantastic fall season, Chargers!
All the best,