At SBS, athletics impact the entire school. “One of the goals of the SBS Athletic Department this year is to work with the Head Prefect Danielle Tackett ‘22 and various divisions to intentionally connect lower school and middle school students to varsity athletics,” says Director of Athletics Mike Walker. Varsity experiences allow middle school athletes to get a feel for what it is like to participate in varsity sports as an upper school student.
In the fifth and sixth grade football experience, middle school boys had the opportunity to engage with the varsity football team and coaches. They attended practice, completed warm-up drills with the team, got a lesson from Coach Warren and threw passes with Varsity Football Coach Pirtle.
"It's a valuable experience for middle school boys to interact with varsity players and coaches. It gives them an idea of what it would be like to be on the team and receive coaching," Coach Pirtle said. "The fifth and sixth grade boys were enthusiastic, and the varsity players benefited from giving back and investing in the future of their team."
Home Game Experience
At the home football game on October 8, eighth graders were able to experience varsity sports up close. Eighth grade football players shadowed the varsity team while eighth grade Spirit girls danced and cheered alongside the Golden Girls and varsity cheerleaders. Not only did they participate on the sideline, but they also interacted with the teams for warm-ups, team devotionals and game-day traditions.
Senior and SBS lifer Jack Prothro says, "It was great to have the middle schoolers on the field with us because I remember being their age and looking up to the varsity players I watched play on Friday nights."
Spirit - Cheer & Dance
Golden Girls Coach Madelyn Whitehead shared that the middle school Spirit program, led by Elleana Yarborough and Jacqueline Comparin, has really taken off. “Now that both seventh and eighth graders with cheer and/or dance experience are a part of the team, we are able to offer a unique and top-notch program not many middle schools have. Cheer Coach Andrea Spence and I are excited for these girls to one day become upper schoolers and continue in our spirit programs!"
Cheer Captain Grace Pollock ‘22 said, “It was a very valuable experience getting to sit down with the eighth grade girls and answer their questions. I love our cheer program, so I was happy to share my experience with them and encourage them to try out for cheer!”
Building the Future
Golden Girl senior Kate Davidson said sharing the experience with the eighth graders made her hopeful and excited for the future of her team. “I hope that the middle schoolers were impacted by realizing that even though varsity teams require a lot of perseverance and time, they are very doable and 100% worth it.”
Middle schoolers also benefited from the experience by meeting and bonding with future teammates. Kate Davidson adds, “Building friendships in advance with future teammates will help them feel more comfortable in high school and at tryouts.”
The fun continues as later this week when girls in grades 3-6, as well as eighth grade volleyball players, engage with the varsity volleyball team.
The future is bright for our middle school athletes!