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MSAD #51 Athletics

posted Nov 16, 2012, 5:04 PM by Dawna Green   [ updated Jan 4, 2013, 11:13 AM ]
December 2011 Spotlight

MSAD #51 Athletics

Whether sitting on the sidelines of a soccer or field hockey game, standing at the finish of Twin Brook’s cross-country course, or cheering in a gym with triumphant volleyball players, there is no denying the energy and enthusiasm that accompanies MSAD #51’s athletics. This summer, David Shapiro joined the staff as Greely High School’s Athletic Director. Shapiro came from Hampden Academy, where he worked for seven years as Athletic Director and Assistant Principal. He has also taught Physical Education, Health and English, and coached a variety of sports at both the high school and college levels.

One area of focus for Shapiro since arriving at Greely has been fostering leadership skills among student athletes. At the beginning of the fall sports season Shapiro created a group composed of captains and other team leaders from each sport. Shapiro met regularly with these athletes to discuss team morale and the highlights and challenges of their seasons. In another effort to provide leadership opportunities for student athletes, eight student leaders (male and female representatives from each grade), were chosen to attend the Western Maine Conference Leadership Summit in November. At this conference, students participated in seminars focused on acting as a role model, character and leadership, collegiate athletics, and the role social media plays (both positively and negatively) in high school sports. Shapiro challenges students to define what a successful sports team looks like, impressing that it often doesn’t correlate with the win-loss record.

In another effort to teach leadership skills to student athletes, Shapiro and the girls’ soccer team are working on a new approach to choosing team captains for the 2012-2013 season. Instead of basing the decision strictly on a team vote, students who are interested in serving as captain will write an essay detailing their interests and motivations. The essay, in addition to a personal interview with Shapiro and soccer coach Michael Kennedy, will be contributing factors in the decision making process. Regardless of who ends up becoming soccer captain, all the girls who participate will have challenged themselves in a way similar to a job interview.

Other changes of note for Greely athletics this fall, are the streamlining of the athletics website. Patty Normandeau, who works as Administrative Assistant to the Athletic Director, not only communicates efficiently with parents, athletes, coaches and other schools, she has consolidated all information relevant to Greely sports. On the athletic page for Greely High School and Greely Middle School, users can find game and practice schedules, enrollment and health forms, athletic policies and directions to away games.

Greely enjoyed a successful fall sports season, marked in part by the fact that all teams advanced to the playoffs, and perhaps more by the fact that 37 student athletes received Western Maine Conference All-Academic awards for maintaining a GPA of 3.2 or higher. While there is much to be said about the excitement of a photo finish race or the final spike of a volleyball game, the primary goals of Greely’s athletic program are to promote good citizenship, leadership and sportsmanship in its many players.