“We’ve done a whole lot of changes in the last two years—not just new teams, but trying to build school spirit,” Harris said. “The biggest thing I’ve done a push with is the concept of a student athlete.”
Every coach at CCMS checks the progress of each student-athlete every 4 1/2 weeks. If a student isn’t passing every class, he or she is removed from the team. With more than 400 students competing in CCMS athletics, that re-quirement is significant, said Harris.
“That’s half the student body passing everything every quarter.”
In addition to enforcing rigorous academic requirements, Harris is trying to bring attention to the middle school’s athletic teams.
“We’ve started the huge poster pictures of every athletic team in the cafeteria. The kids are in there every day, and they see it,” Harris said. “We’re allowing during football and basketball season this last year, different grade level nights, they get to get into the game free. Hopefully this year we’ll pick up a few more sports.”
So many students attended football and basketball games last school year that the school opened student sections, Harris said. The overall goal, he said, is “trying to get school spirit built back up. We lost that for a while, and we’re trying to get it back.”
Head football coach Brock Freeze agrees the effort is worthwhile.
For the rest of this story, please see our print edition. For a subscription, including full online access, click here.