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Announcements & News

Fall Sports Announcements

The first day of practice is Thursday, August 27, 2015.

We are looking forward to another great year of athletics at Saint Mary’s Parish School. We hope that this information will help to prepare you. Even if you are not planning to play a fall sport, please read this information carefully so that you will be fully prepared for winter or spring sports. Go step-by-step and use the handy checklist to be sure that you’re prepared for the first day of practice.

Fall sports begin practicing on Thursday, August 27, 2015. The time and location for each team will be posted on our website at the beginning of that week.

What’s New

We have two new fall coaches: Bill Lamirande for boys soccer and Jen Gomes for girls soccer. Melissa Finley (golf) and Lindsey Meyers (cross country) are both returning.
Massachusetts State Law now requires all coaches to be CPR/AED certified.
Concussion training for students will be done online.

Eligibility: Physical

According to state regulations, each student must have a valid physical on file, dated within the past 13 months. Proof is required before a student can practice. No exceptions. If your physical is expired, you may drop off a more recent physical to the school for Mr. Lepage. He will then pass it on to Mrs. Pelli, the school nurse for her records. You may also bring it to the first day of practice.

If you’re not sure if your physical is up to date, you can check the envelope that was sent home with his information: red- not eligible for fall; yellow- eligible for the start of season but physical expires sometime during the fall season; green- eligible for the fall season. Medical records for transfers and incoming freshmen haven’t arrived yet. You will need to bring a copy of your physical with you on the first day of practice. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Lepage as soon as possible.

Eligibility: Grades

A student must pass all courses from the previous year (if you failed a course then passed it in summer school, you are all set). Each athlete had to have at least a 1.67 GPA and no Fs in the fourth quarter of last year in order to be eligible to play. These rules do not apply to incoming freshmen.

Commitment and Bona Fide Team Rule

Teams require commitment. They practice or have contests five days a week. Athletes are expected to be present for the entire practice every day.

The MIAA’s Bona Fide Team rule states that the high school team takes first priority above outside sports. For example, if you’re a member of the STM soccer team but are also playing fall hockey somewhere, the soccer team comes first. You cannot miss a soccer practice or game to play on your fall hockey team. If you do, you are suspended for 25% of the season. At the beginning of the season, check your calendar. If you have any conflicts with other sports that cannot be avoided, we can apply for a waiver from this rule on your behalf. Please notify us by Friday, September 4 if there are any conflicts during the fall season.

Concussion Training

The state requires that we provide concussion training to parents. In this information that was mailed home, you’ll find a sheet on concussions that comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please read through these important items, sign the form that you understand the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and return it. Students must complete an online concussion training course that’s free and takes less than 30 minutes. At the end of the course, students can print a certificate as proof of completion. You can find the test at http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/Training/index.html

Pre-Participation Form

The state requires that the Pre-Participation Form be filled out and signed prior to every season. A copy was enclosed in the packet that was mailed home and can be downloaded from the state website: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/com-health/injury/preparticipation-re...

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don’t we co-op with other schools so we can be more competitive or have more students on our teams?

Co-ops are very specific and strictly regulated. They are only approved after a lengthy process. Basically, you have to prove that your program is in danger of being cancelled due to low numbers. You and another school agree to join forces and have one team. There are many steps that must be taken including surveying students to get an idea of current numbers, ironing out an agreement between the two schools (coach salary, uniforms, transportation, athletic trainers, officials, equipment), and filling out all the necessary paperwork. The co-op must be approved by the athletic directors of all the teams in our league to ensure that the new team won’t gain a competitive advantage and that your numbers really are too low to support a team. Then it goes to the PVIAC for final approval. Approved co-ops last for two years then you have to be reapply.

We currently have a co-op agreement with Westfield Technical Academy (formerly Westfield Voc.) for boys lacrosse. Each year we evaluate which teams may be in need of a co-op but the amount of work involved in the process causes us to be very reluctant to take this step.

Does every student have to do the online concussion training?

Yes. All students must do this once a year and turn in the certificate of completion.

Is there a fee to play a sport?

Saint Mary’s Parish School does not charge athletic fees.

Can 7th and 8th graders play on the high school teams?

Yes. Since we are one school under one administration, seventh and eighth graders can play on our high school teams. Due to a change in MIAA rules, this is the last year for this opportunity. Starting with the 2016-2017 school year, we will have to apply for a waiver for any middle school student to play on high school teams. This will be granted only if we can prove that our program is in jeopardy due to low numbers and the middle school will help us to keep the team. Seventh graders would be grandfathered in and could play as eighth graders but no new middle school members would be able to join.

Where can I find schedules for practices and games?

Schedules for practices are arranged by coaches and communicated to athletes directly. Game schedules are posted on the MIAA website (click on “School Lookup” and choose Saint Mary’s Parish School) and on our website. Please note that season schedules are not posted until the season starts to reflect last minute changes. Please do not call the school looking for schedules. If you have a question about schedules, speak to the coach or contact Mr. Lepage directly.

Are there rides to practice after school?

Students are responsible for their own transportation to practices. This is usually arranged very easily by car pooling with other families or through upperclassmen who can drive.

Do I have to try out for a team?

Saint Mary’s has a no-cut policy, meaning that any student may join a team. Being on a team does not guarantee playing time, which is at the discretion of the coach. There are no try outs or sign-ups. If you’re interested in playing a fall sport, just show up to practice on the first day.

I didn’t make it to any captain’s practices. Can I still be on the team?

“Captain’s practices” don’t exist. Of course, they do happen but as far as the school and the MIAA are concerned, the season begins on August 27. It is a violation of the rules to penalize anyone for not taking part in preseason practices. It is also forbidden for coaches to be involved in any way. So if you didn’t make it to any captain’s practices, you can still play.

First Day of Practice Checklist

_____ Updated Physical if needed

_____ Grade Eligibility

_____ Checked calendar for possible conflicts with outside sports teams

_____ Concussion Training: Student

_____ Concussion Training: Parent

_____ Pre-Participation Form

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact one of us at your convenience. May Mary, patroness of our school, protect and inspire our student-athletes.

Rob Lepage
Dean of Student Life
rlepage@stmsaints.org
413-568-5692 ext. 15

Matt Collins
Athletic Director
athletics@stmsaints.org