Lakewood Park Athletics

MS Fall Sports Info from the AD

1) Sports Offered – We will offer the following middle school sports this fall: Coed Soccer, Girls Volleyball, and Coed Cross County. It is definitely not too late to join one of these teams! If your child is interested in playing one of these sports, but has not yet informed the prospective coach of his or her interest, please reply to this message to let us know. We will pass your child’s information on to that coach so he or she can be added to team-specific correspondence. Most of our 5/6 and 7/8 teams will start practicing after school starts, but a few of them might start having activities (open gyms/fields, conditioning, or practice) before school starts.

2) Good Changes Coming for Soccer! – We will be changing our middle school soccer program this fall to help accommodate our large numbers and to give more players meaningful playing experience. Instead of just a 5/6 team and a 7/8 team like we’ve done in the past, we have added a third team. We are now calling our teams: Middle School Varsity, Middle School JV, and Middle School Prep. All of our players from 5th through 8th grade will be placed on one of these three teams at the beginning of the season, but coaches will retain the ability to move players to a different roster based upon their individual development. While we will never place a player from the highest or lowest age extreme onto the opposite extreme team (e.g., we wouldn’t put an 8th grader on the Prep team or a 5th grader on the Varsity team), this setup does give us flexibility to place kids on the team that is the best fit for them based on their skills, abilities, experience, and size (e.g. a highly skilled 6th grader could play Varsity or JV and a small 7th grader who is new to the game could be on the prep team). All three of these teams will have a full schedule of their own, so playing opportunities will go up considerably!

Speaking of good changes for soccer, we welcome Dennis Nelson as our new coach for the Middle School Varsity team. Dennis is no stranger to Lakewood Park as he attended school here and played soccer for us when we were known as Faith Christian Academy. Dennis has also officiated soccer matches at Lakewood as a Varsity level official. He has coached soccer for years and is extremely knowledgable about the game. He replaces Daron White who did a phenomenal job in building our JH Soccer program and is now moving up to help coach our Varsity Boys Soccer Team. Gramm Wilson will continue to coach our MS Prep team. We are still looking for a coach for our MS JV team. If you or someone you know is interested in coaching, please let me know ASAP.

Our fall middle school soccer teams are coed teams that are open to both boys and girls. If you are new to Lakewood, you may not know that this spring we added a middle school girls team. We had a great start to that new program and intend to keep it going, so there will be an additional soccer opportunity for middle school girls this coming spring. Girls are still welcome and encouraged to play on the fall coed team, or your daughter may choose to play volleyball in the fall and soccer in the spring.

3) Meet the Team/Parent Meeting Night – Please mark your calendars for Thursday, August 3 at 6:00pm for a new event called Meet the Team Night. All fall athletes and their parents should plan to attend this event as each team’s players and coaches will be introduced and each coach will have an opportunity to meet with the parents of their players. More details will be shared closer to the time.

4) Sports Physicals – It was my sincere desire that all athletes would already have had their sports physicals completed by now, but the realist in me knows that that probably hasn’t happened! 🙂 However, please be aware that your child will NOT be allowed to participate in any official practices unless a current physical completed using the approved IHSAA form is on file in the athletic office. There are no exceptions to this rule, so please take care of getting your child’s physical ASAP.

5) Fall Sports Registration – On Monday, July 17, we will send an email with links to online registration and payment of sports fees. We are making a concerted effort this year to be sure that every athlete is fully registered and that sports fee payments are made in a timely manner. To that end, we have created a new timeline with specific deadlines for registration and payment. This timeline will be laid out fully in my July 17 email, so please be on the lookout for it.

6) Sports Fees – There is good news and bad news on this front. The bad news is that sports fees have been raised by $10 this year making them $70 for 5/6 and $85 for 7/8. The good news is that an Early Bird Registration Discount of $10 is available to offset this increase for all families who fully complete the registration process by the Early Bird Deadline. This is part of the concerted effort addressed in 5) above. Please believe me when I say that we would much rather have timely registrations than an additional $10, so it is our hope that every family will take advantage of the Early Bird Discount. More details on this process will be provided on July 17.