October 12, 2021

Dear Parents of St. John’s basketball players,

    It is almost time for a regular season of St. John’s basketball! While this can be a very enjoyable time of the school year, it comes with great commitment for all of those involved and great 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 the attached permission form and return it to school before your child’s first practice.

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/her God-given ability in 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. 7+8) – Mondays and Wednesdays until 5:00 p.m.
B-Girls (Gr. 4-6) – Mondays and Wednesdays until 5:00 p.m.
A-Boys (Gr. 7-8) – Tuesdays and Thursdays until 5:30 p.m.
B-Boys (Gr. 4-6) – Tuesdays and Thursdays until 5:00 p.m.

The girls will start practice on October 25. The boys will start practice on October 26. Please watch the website for changes to the practice schedule.
    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.
    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.

    Cheerleading:  There is not enough interest in cheerleading this year.

Games:  This season’s game schedule is attached. A final schedule will be sent home when I have all the games for the season scheduled.
I am not certain that we will be able to provide bussing to our away games this year. I am waiting to hear from the district if we will be able to use a bus. If we can take a bus to our away games, the players will have to wear masks while riding the bus.
Information about when the bus will leave, etc. would be posted on the website the week of an away game. The cost for a player to ride the bus is included in the Activity Fee. 
The school board requires that a minimum of two parent volunteers must ride the bus to and from each away game.  In the event that there are less than two parent volunteers willing to ride the bus to and from each game, the bus service for that game will be canceled. I will send out a request for chaperones the week before each away game. A decision about whether there will be a bus or not will be made by Wednesday of each week of away games.
The school board has decided that cell phones and electronic devices will be allowed on the bus to away games. These devices must be turned off and put away when the players are in the locker rooms. 
For home games, or if a student does not take the bus, they must arrive a half hour before their game begins.  When we play league games at home, the students may not stay at school after 3:00 p.m., unless their parents are going to be with them. The teachers have work to complete after school and do not have time to supervise all the students. 

Tournaments: The A-teams will participate in two tournaments during the season – the LALSAC Tournament and the MLC Tournament. The sixth graders will be invited to join the A-teams sometime after Christmas break so they may participate with the A-teams during these tournaments. 
The B-girls will participate in the Luther High B-girls tournament in January. The B-boys will participate in our B-Bounce Off in January. More information about all these tournaments will be sent home and posted on the website as it becomes available. 

         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. 
For the “B” teams, playing time will be based on the players’ understanding of the fundamentals and team concepts. The playing time will not be based solely on talent, and with hard work during practice, all the players should see meaningful playing time by the end of the season. 
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. 
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 head coaches of the teams are:    
                    B-Girls – Noelle Bergan (605-377-8878)
                    A-Girls – Marie Mierau (458-6198)
                    B-Boys – Dennis Mueller (429-1657)
                    A-Boys – Roby Randall (459-1169)
If you have any concerns or questions about your child’s team, please call the coaches or me. It is best to talk to the adult in charge and receive clear information. 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. 
              
     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.
     Each family is required to supervise in the hallways and work in the concession stand. An online sign-up will be sent to all basketball families soon. If something occurs and you can’t work the time you signed up for, you are responsible for finding a replacement. The B-team parents will also be required to work in the concession stand and monitor the halls during the B-Bounce Off. A separate sign up for this will be sent out closer to the time of the tournament. At any time, anyone can volunteer to help with the scorebook or score clock. Volunteers are also needed to clean up the bleachers after home games. If everyone does their part, we can all enjoy the games and support our school.  

    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 parents, players, and coaches 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 –
School phone – 523-2508
Home phone – 523-9070
Cell phone – 450-6034