Announcements and Important Events
What sports does John Paul the Great offer to students?
Fall Sports (August to November)
Boys: Cross Country, Football, Soccer
Girls: Cheerleading, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Volleyball
Winter Sports (November to February)
Boys: Basketball, Indoor Track, Swimming, Wrestling
Girls: Basketball, Cheerleading, Indoor Track, Swimming, Wrestling
Spring Sports (February to May)
Boys: Baseball, Lacrosse, Track & Field
Girls: Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Track & Field
Do I have to try out for every sport?
Yes, however some sports are a little different than others. Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, & Volleyball will have tryouts. These sports will make “cuts” as necessary. Cross Country, Football, Track, Swimming, & Wrestling usually do not have “cuts.” These sports will usually assign student-athletes to the appropriate level (JV/Varsity) depending on the athlete’s abilities. It is important to know that if a coach in Football or Wrestling believes that their sport is “unsafe” for a student athlete due to physical ability, a student may be asked not to participate in those sports. This is done for the student’s safety and is on a case-by-case basis.
3. How many sports may I play as a student-athlete?
At John Paul the Great, we want well rounded students. However, we also know that sometimes there is a limit for what student-ahtletes can physically accomplish. In addition to this, we have to remember that students need time for their faith, family, and studies. We do have a limit to ONE sport per season.
4. What can I expect as a time commitment to athletics?
High School athletics can be a very different than recreational leagues and travel teams. At every level, high school teams usually practice every day after school, unless there is a game that day. Practices are usually 2 to 2.5 hours per day. Games (usually 1-3 per week) usually take less time, however, you could be travelling as far away as Washington, DC, Baltimore, Richmond or Winchester.
5. Do I have to go to every practice?
Yes. When you participate in high school sports you are making a commitment to constantly improve both yourself and the team. Teams will have daily practice that you are expected to be at. There are always exceptions though. We do not want you at practice when you are ill or if there is a family matter that just can not be avoided. These are understandable and coaches will work with you in those instances.
6. What about vacations/breaks during my season?
Families come first at John Paul the Great. Your time with your family is very important, however please remember that student-athletes are making a commitment to a team. If you are going out of town, please let the coaches know as soon as possible (at the beginning of the season if possible!). Yes, it could limit playing time when a student comes back to the team. This is because When a student misses practice, for any reason, they do still miss practice and the instruction that goes on while gone. It takes time to get back into the routine and understand various skills and techniques that were missed. School breaks (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter) will have some practices and possibly a game. We do not schedule any games on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Day, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter or Easter Monday. Please communicate with your child’s coach if they are going to be out of town during the season for any reason.
7. What do I need to play in terms of equipment or gear?
The most important thing that you will need is your completed VHSL Athletic Physical. This form needs to be completed by your physician and turned into our Certified Athletic Trainer. Besides the physical, each coach determines what is needed for their team. Most uniforms at JP are provided by the school, but to be certain, check with your child’s coach. If you are new to a sport and are hesitant to purchase all the personal equipment to get started, let the coach know that. In many instances those concerns can be worked through. Just remember that if a coach does not know, they can not help. All sports using helmets will have the helmets provided by the school.
8. What transportation is provided for student-athletes?
John Paul will provide transportation to most games or practices that occur off of our property. The exceptions to that might be a local game or meet that is held on a Saturday. Those situations will be made known by the coaches in advance. The school will utilize the John Paul bus fleet or, when necessary, private coach buses. Students are expected to ride the bus when provided. If you want to drive your child home from a game, please talk to the coach. If they are agreeable to that, they will need a signed note explaining that.
9. Where can I find information about various teams?
Please visit the John Paul Athletics Website (www.johnpaulathletics.org). This site will publish the team schedules, coaches contact information, and any other information that coaches want to publicize. If you can’t find the information that you’re looking for, just email the coach! Sometimes a coach might not be listed for various reasons. If that is the case, do not hesitate to contact the Athletic Director or Assistant Athletic Director!
10. I see references to a “Certified Athletic Trainer.” What is this?
John Paul the Great, and most high schools in our region, employ a Certified Athletic Trainer, or ATC. Athletic trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers work under the direction of a physician as prescribed by state licensure statutes. Our ATC is licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine. Being a certified health care provider, if your child has an injury, the ATC is the best place to start investigating how to address what is going on. Additionally the ATC will, along with the athlete, coach, parent, and Athletic Director, lead any and all return to play protocols that may need to be followed to get the athlete back in the game!
11. So is an Athletic Trainer the same thing as a personal trainer?
No! Athletic trainers are sometimes confused with personal trainers. There is, however, a large difference in the education, skill set, job duties and patients of an athletic trainer and a personal trainer. The athletic training academic curriculum and clinical training follows the medical model. Athletic trainers must graduate from an accredited baccalaureate or master’s program, and 70% of ATs have a master’s degree.
12. What eligibility standards are in place for athletes?
Because academic success supersedes all other temporal dimensions of a high school experience, participation in extracurricular activities including athletics is conditioned on performance in the classroom. In addition to athletic team participation, academic eligibility also applies to participation in all extracurricular clubs and activities. This includes after school use of the weight room, open gyms, and other non-academic opportunities at the school.
The following Arlington Diocesan standards apply to students at John Paul the Great:
Eligibility will be reviewed two times each grading period by the Assistant Principal for Academics: the interim (middle) of the grading period and the end of each academic quarter. To remain eligible the following must be true at the time of the Assistant Principal’s review:
Students must maintain a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0;
Students may not have a failing grade in any class.
2. Eligibility is restored after four weeks if the GPA and grade requirements have been remedied. This will coincide with the Assistant Principal’s eligibility review at interims and the end of the grading period.
3. Students are automatically eligible to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities at the end of the academic year once summer programs begin.
13. What if I have higher expectations for my student-athlete?
If your academic expectations are higher than our Diocesan policy, we support you! If you know that your student is having difficulty in class, please do not hesitate to let the coach know. Coaches want what is best for their athletes. As student-athletes, they realize that the academic piece is very important. Have open communication with your child’s coach about this when necessary. Often the first impulse for a parent is to pull the sport from the student. In some cases, this is a valid approach. In other cases, the coach may have a suggestion that is worth hearing. We want everyone on the same page, so work together. This is a school and grades come first. Well… first after Christ!
14. If my student is absent from class, can they practice or play in a game?
No! Except in cases of educational absence (field trips or related activities), students may not participate in any extracurricular activities on the day of his/her absence. To be considered present, students must be present for at least half of the school day. This includes all scheduled school days, whether classes are held or not. A good rule of thumb is to let the coach know through email that your child is missing school that day. If there is a game, they may need to know in advance to plan!