The beginning of any school year is full of excitement and anticipation of things to come. The conclusion is also just that—the culmination of a year of hard work filled with joyous accomplishments, sometimes disappointing results, and myriad learning opportunities, especially in athletics. I truly believe athletics is a microcosm of life and an excellent classroom for Colorado Academy students.
If athletes are going to experience success, they will be required to work collaboratively with teammates and coaches, set goals, follow directions and game plans, be courageous, be curious, be responsible for their actions, navigate consequences, and humbly compete and work hard with purpose.
One of my goals as CA Director of Athletics is to provide a platform for CA students to have meaningful learning experiences through education-based athletics and competition led by some of the best coaches in the state.
This spring, all six of our CHSAA-sanctioned high school programs—Girls Tennis, Girls Golf, Baseball, Girls Soccer, Boys Lacrosse, and Girls Lacrosse—advanced to state tournament play. While this accomplishment may not be unique to this trimester or school year, it is certainly worth celebrating.
As one of the smallest high school populations in the 3A division, and by far the smallest when pitted against 4A and 5A opponents, for any of our programs to reach state and national prominence is no small feat. CA has won nearly 25 State Championships in the past 11 years in a variety of sports and made countless appearances in semi-final and championship games. Our record of success speaks for itself.
How do we do it?
First, I believe our coaches and kids care deeply about representing CA with integrity and about competing for each other. The most impactful lessons are learned in the months and years leading up to that championship season. When athletes and teams focus on the process by consistently showing up, working hard, and competing harder, the outcome takes care of itself.
Second, in a high school with just over 400 students, it’s important to have multi-sport athletes who are engaged in athletics for at least two or three trimesters per year. CA regularly plays against and is successful competing against 5A schools that have anywhere from 1,200-3,500 students. For example, the CA Girls Lacrosse Team, which won the Colorado State Championship for an unprecedented seventh straight time this past spring under the guidance of Coach Laura Sandbloom, beat multiple schools with larger student populations to get to the top. Of the 12 starters on Sandbloom’s squad, all 12 play at least one other sport for CA, and a few play a sport all three trimesters.
Another factor in CA’s success is the work that our Mustangs put in with our Strength and Conditioning Coach Wes Kirk. Kirk can be credited with keeping our student-athletes healthy and fit, both in season and out.
The life experience gained through athletics is invaluable and unlike any other in the educational world. I hope you all can enjoy the summer with some down time and rest. Fall season and the start of another school year will be here before we know it. I look forward to seeing a new generation of CA athletes on campus in August and watching their growth and development. Happy summer! Go Mustangs!