(COVINGTON, La.) — St. Paul’s fall sports training has gotten underway, with Football, Cross Country, Swimming, Ultimate Frisbee, and Bowling each looking to contend for state titles.
With SPS Football starting their regular season campaign at home against Karr on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, the school anxiously awaits Friday nights under Hunter Stadium lights.
Speed work, weight lifting, and technique work on the field have all helped the Football Wolves prepare to reach new heights this season, according to Athletic Director Craig Ketelsen.
Following a disappointing loss in the playoffs last year against Evangel Christian Academy, the Wolves look forward to getting their redemption in the 2015-2016 season.
“Our school treats (football) like a big sports event,” Ketelsen said. “At SPS, we’re a family, so these Friday nights are for the entire school, not just for a football game. Also, we have the tailgate pre-game.”
There has been a buzz about who will be the break-out player this year for the Football Wolves, but Ketelsen thinks that the conversation should be more about the big picture.
“There is not really a particular guy (that will break out),” Ketelsen said. “It is the team as a whole that we should be looking out for.”
For the Wolves’ 2015 schedule, see Maxpreps.
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With junior Eric Coston winning athlete of the month, the SPS Cross Country Wolves are already off to a running start, but it takes a team to get to their status level, consistently finishing in the top five in the state as a team.
“Coach Terryl Chatham is focusing getting those top seven runners,” Ketelsen said, “while not necessarily getting one athlete to win an individual championship.”
Cross Country is looking forward to competition in the District Championship this year. They will also run in the New Orleans Metro Championship and are highly anticipating running in the State Meet.
The team came out of the gate strong on Sept. 1 at the John Curtis Season Opener, competing against eight other schools and finishing in second place behind the host team. Next, the team travels to Episcopal High in Baton Rouge on Saturday, Sept. 12. For the season schedule, visit the CC team page.
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Last year, the SPS Swim Team fell short by losing district, mainly due to sparse numbers. Veteran Coach Bill Babcock stepped down this year, and SPS alumnus Kris Babylon, who was an All-American at the University of Georgia and a participant in the Olympic Trials, will be taking over the Aqua Wolves.
“The only thing that stops these guys from being champions are numbers,” Ketelsen said. “If we could get more kids to swim, I think we would be extremely well off.”
The Aqua Wolves dive into their season Saturday. If any students want to join, they can contact Ketelsen for information.
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Ultimate Frisbee is a sport that does not have a season, but consists of tournaments held throughout the school year. At these tournaments the Dire Wolves, as the team is called, will play a number of games on a scheduled Saturday. This sport takes endurance and speed, since players are playing three games in a day, non-stop.
“Coach Richards is doing a great job as usual,” Ketelsen said of head coach Mark Richards. “He keeps the sport going; also, he has a dedicated group of kids that show up on a day-to-day basis.”
The Dire Wolves began practicing this week and are still taking new members. Contact Coach Richards to join.
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In the fall, the Bowling Wolves participate in a recreational league at Tiffany Lanes. They use this time to get the players ready for the spring, during which LHSAA has a competitive league.
“Last year, we had one individual enter,” Ketelsen said. “We didn’t have a team enter, and we hope to gather enough kids to enter a team next year.”
Bowling team practices are scheduled to begin soon. Interested bowlers are encouraged to listen for practice announcements at school.
This year, Ketelsen is stepping up efforts to get more student body participation at all Wolves sporting events.
“I am making a public push for all sports teams to set an example by supporting members of the other teams,” Ketelsen said. “For instance, the pre-season wrestling group was going to try and get together and watch a football game and cheer for our Cross Country team. I want our athletes to lead by example and really publicize and congratulate kids from another sport.”