JPII Athletics

“What is that big building?”

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“That’s the academic building for five hundred students.”

“So, what’s that other big building?” 

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“That’s the gym.”

“Oh, so we are going to have sports!”

Yes, we are going to have sports, and Arthur J. Walker, Jr., is leading the charge. Mr. Walker has called a JPII Athletics Meeting on Thursday, May 3 at 6:00 pm at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in St. Clare Hall.

Sports are key to building virtues in student athletes. For 800 years, Dominicans have praised their founder, St. Dominic, with Dante’s title for him, “Athlete of Christ” (Paradiso XII, 56). Our patron, Pope John Paul II, was called by Cardinal Sarah the “athletic ascetic.” He was a goalie for soccer, known in Europe as football. As a parish priest, he took his young adults on kayaking trips in Poland, and skiied as cardinal and as pope. He even installed a swimming pool at Castel Gondolfo.

Some kids love the competition. Others need the exercise to put their extra energy to good use. Many love the teamwork and fellowship. John Paul told two national soccer teams that “athletic activity, in fact, when practiced in the right way, tends to develop strength, proficiency, resistance, and harmony, while favoring at the same time interior growth, becoming a school of loyalty, courage, endurance, tenacity, and brotherhood.”

By participating in sports, our athletes can grow in all these virtues. Freshmen and sophomores can be varsity athletes for three and four years. No upper classman can fill their spots on the team. With talent and perseverance, they can learn new sports and be on teams each season.

John Paul II Lions will compete in Canyon Athletic Association for the first two years as our student population is growing. Then Mr. Walker will apply to AIA to enter at the level determined by our numbers. Mr. Walker told an athlete, “You and I both know: if you’re good, they’ll find you.”

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Oh, yes. We are going to have sports.