The Start of a New Period

The arrival of the new athletic period will yield benefits for players, coaches, and dinnertime

Above: “There Are Battles We Go Through In Life”: Rocket football players ready themselves for the 2019 season. Coaches and players are applauding the new athletic period that allow a class period to begin practice. Photo by Nick Gowen ’02

   An athletic period has always been on the mind of some students. However, since 1986, the school has not had a said period. Next school year will be the first in over thirty years to have one at this school.

   Next school year there will be an extra class period at the end of the day. It will work just as a normal class period; however, those who participate major sports will begin their daily practice for their sport.

   Mr. Dempsey said, “We are going to schedule some sports that have coaches here on campus to start during the last period of the day. If you are not on one of those teams, then you will have a regular class. We did that so we keep an academic period but that we will start some sports during that time.”

   “I am super excited,” said junior Alex Davis. “It gets pretty old getting home late every night, then having to do homework after a long football practice.” 

   “It’s a big burden on athletes and coaches,’’ said Mr. Dempsey. “They have to start practices at 3:30 or later and don’t get home till later. We are expecting to start practice forty-five minutes earlier and hopefully, if we start practice earlier, then they will get home earlier.”

   The period isn’t only for athletes. It is also for the coaches of the various sports. Teaching all day and then not getting home until after six o’clock every night can be tough.

   “You gotta understand our coaches do it year end year out for decades,’’ said Mr. Dempsey. “As bad as it is for the athletes, the coaches are the ones who really live with it while trying to raise families, and that is why we are making this change.”

   “I am going to enjoy getting home when the sun is still out,” said Mr. Keegan Doan. “For basketball from October until February, I don’t ever see sunlight in the afternoon. As far as being home and seeing family, it’s huge for me. That goes for the athletes as well. They sacrifice a lot just to participate in a sport. I think that is a big reason why we don’t have a lot of guys wanting to play multiple sports,” said Mr. Doan.

   “Next year will be the first time in a while that I will be able to sit down to eat dinner with my family,” said Davis. “I live in Sherwood, so it’s hard to get home at a reasonable time [after practice]. It will be nice to be able to get out of practice an hour or so early everyday.”

   “It will be huge because right now our athletes don’t go home till six every night,” said Mr. Doan. “I think one of the underlying benefits is this will give us an extra elective at the school. Now students can start to pick different classes that they are interested in taking.”

   “We will be assigning a grade because it is an academic period,” said Mr. Dempsey. “Does that mean it’s a pass/ fail, maybe. Does that mean it will be a letter grade, maybe. We don’t know exactly where that is headed quite yet. But there will be some sort of credit given.

   “Just recently a rule was passed that allows all schools to count an athletic class as one P.E. credit. So some of those athletes might be able to opt out of P.E. ultimately,” said Mr. Dempsey.

   “I love that this will count as a credit,” said Davis. “I don’t know how it will be counted; however it is, I am all for it. It might even motivate some kids to join a team in order to receive those credits.”

   “This is something that we have been discussing for a little while now,” said Mr. Dempsey. “Ultimately it’s for the benefit of the athletes as well as the coaches while still keeping the normal class structure.”

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