January 7, 2021

 

Dear Parents of St. John’s basketball players,

 

         What a blessing it is that we can now start the basketball season for our A-teams! While many things about basketball will be different this year, we still want to remember that the season comes with great commitment for all of those involved and focus on the true purpose of our basketball season. This letter is written to inform you about the policies we will be following throughout the basketball season. Please read through this letter with your child, and then sign both the attached permission form and LALSAC basketball guidelines form. The two yellow sheets must be signed and returned to school before your child’s first practice next week.

 

Purpose: The purpose of our basketball program is to promote Christian fellowship with other schools and to give the children in our school the opportunity to have fun while learning competitive sports. All this will be done while allowing the children to learn that hard work, trust, respect, and commitment can be enjoyable when done to the glory of God. Our basketball program will continue to run in accordance with the overall purpose and goals of our school.

One of the key elements to accomplishing those goals is that we need to recognize the gifts that God has blessed us with.  Those blessings include: loving parents, teammates, physical talent, the opportunity to practice, the Activity Center, uniforms, coaches, and referees. We must always bear in mind that all gifts are from God, and we should give thanks and never take them for granted.

In recognizing these blessings, we must remember to treat everyone with respect.  Coaches, players, and parents all need to respect each other.  We must also remember the difficult task the referees perform for us.  They use their God-given abilities every night and certainly deserve our thanks and respect.

 

         School Work: Basketball requires a commitment from the students and parents. The other players count on their teammates to show the same commitment. But above your child’s commitment to basketball at St. John’s is his/her commitment to Christian education.  Please review the academic guidelines for our students in the athletic handbook. In summary:  If a student has 3 or more late assignments in one week, that student will not be allowed to play in the first half of the game at the end of that week. A second violation will result in the player missing an entire game and the player will not be allowed to participate until improvement has been shown. All late assignments must be completed before a student may practice.  If a student is performing below his God-given ability in his class work, that student will not be allowed to practice or participate in games until improvement has been shown.

         Also, students who are not in school the last half of the day due to illness are ineligible to participate in an athletic contest.

 

         Practice: Practice is an opportunity to teach teamwork, strategy, and fundamental skills. During this time, the coaches will work to set a solid Christian example of hard work, trust, and compassion.

Practice times are as follows:

A-Girls (Gr. 6-8) – Mondays and Wednesdays until 5:00 p.m.

A-Boys (Gr. 6-8) – Tuesdays and Thursdays until 5:00 p.m.

         The A-Girls will start practice on January 11, and the A-Boys will start on January 12.

         The clothing needed for practice includes: gym shorts, socks, T-shirt, and gym shoes with non-marking soles. The players will each be given a practice jersey to wear during practice. The players are not allowed to use the locker rooms, so they should change in the bathrooms before and after practice. Players and coaches must wear a face-covering over the nose and mouth at all times during practices and games. This could be the St. John’s neck gaiter that I hand out before the first practice, a mask, or bandana.

         Practice is a very important part of the season.  If your child is going to miss practice, please have your child inform the coach ahead of time if possible. If a child misses a practice for an invalid reason, he/she will not start.

         The players will not be allowed to check their cell phones or make phone calls during practice. Cell phones should be left in their backpacks until practice is over. Please make transportation arrangements ahead of time, or call the school number during practice. Please arrange to pick up your child right when practice ends.

 

          

Games:  At this time, I do not have a schedule for the season. I am working with the other athletic directors in LALSAC and area schools that we play to find out which teams they have this year. I will keep you updated.

 

Playing Time: Our faculty and coaches believe that playing time is a privilege, and in most cases, the older students will play more based on experience and leadership.

With more emphasis on the concept of teamwork, the “A” teams will try to maximize the team’s talent on the court. The goal will be to try to incorporate playing time for all players, while providing the team with the best opportunities to use their collective talent. Sixth graders are invited to join the A-teams, but they are not guaranteed any playing time.

It is the coaches’ intention to get everyone in the game, but it will not always happen.  The coaches will do their best to balance competitiveness with fair playing time.

 

         Coaches: We are thankful for the members of our congregation who volunteer their time to coach our children. The coaches of the teams are:    

                    A-Girls – Marie Mierau, Noelle Bergan

                    A-Boys – Roby Randall, Matt Essig

   If you know ahead of time that your child will not be able to attend a practice or game, please call the coach. This will help the coaches plan accordingly. Also, if you have any concerns, please call your child’s coach or me.

              

         Uniforms: Uniforms will be given to each player before the first game.  The uniforms will be issued to the oldest players first.  The uniforms are to be kept by the players and to be used only on game days.  They should be cleaned after each game.  Washing instructions for the uniforms will be sent home when the uniforms are handed out. The uniforms should be worn with non-marking gym shoes.

        

 

         Parents’ Responsibility: We ask our parents to be supportive of their children, understanding throughout the season, and to be positive role models and ambassadors of St. John’s.  This includes showing respect to other fans, coaches, and referees at home games and away.  Enjoy watching the players grow in basketball skills and Christian character.

         Since we will not have the concession stand open this year, parent responsibilities during, between, and after games will be different. I will need helpers to keep book, run the score clock, record the games for livestreaming, sanitize between and after games, and help check in fans and players. I will send out a sign up at a later date.

 

         Communication: Requirements and procedures will most likely change throughout this season. I will do my best to keep you updated through Daily News and Flocknote announcements. Please read the information that is sent home so that you are up-to-date on the happens of the season. Please let me know if you have any questions about how the season will run.

 

Attitude:  We believe that a winner is one who is humble in victory and gracious in defeat.  The best that we can do in life and basketball is use our God-given talents to the glory of God. When a game ends and you head home, don’t complain about the refs, coaches, or other team. Don’t jump up and down at the end of a game because we had more points than the other team. We win every game regardless of the score if we put God first. Let’s be thankful for this opportunity that our students have as another way to give glory to God.

 

         If you have any questions or concerns throughout the season, please call me. May this basketball season be enjoyable for all of us, and, above all, give glory to God through all of our actions!

 

                           In Christ,

                     Mrs. Julie Weishalla

 

Contact info – julie.weishalla@stjohnslew.org

School phone – 523-2508

Home phone – 523-9070

Cell phone – 450-6034