AACS Athletics Program
Students have many opportunities to participate on an athletic team at AACS. We consider the experience to be invaluable. Our coaches and student-athletes are expected to do their best at all times in the true spirit of Christ-centered competition. While winning games and championships are certainly worthy goals, those things do not define our purpose at AACS. Success for teams will not be measured by the number of games or championships we win. Our success will be measured by how much we grow as teams and as individuals, and how well we represent Christ. The coaches purpose is to develop young Christian men and women of character and faith. We take the verses 1 Corinthians 9:24 and Proverbs 27:17 very seriously at AACS.
We believe that competition not only builds character, but it also reveals character. We intend to glorify God in all we do, both in and out of competition, through the good times and not so good times, using teachable moments to help sharpen the faith of our student-athletes. Our goal is to equip our student-athletes with a strong sense of faith and a close connection with Jesus Christ so that our boys and girls will become men and women of empathy and integrity, who will lead, be responsible and help change the world for good.
As Christians we believe we are commanded by Scripture to always do our best. We have the responsibility to nurture and develop the talents God has given us. The AACS athletic program emphasizes fundamentals of athletic skills, along with school spirit and enjoyment of team activities and relationships. It provides opportunities for student-athletes to learn the ideals of sportsmanship, lessons of character, emotional endurance and resilience, and the pursuit of excellence. In training and competition, student-athletes learn how to develop skills and apply them, how to set realistic and ambitious goals, how to work within a group, and how to meet challenges of the moment. They benefit from integrating athletics and academics into their educational experience.
The success of the AACS program is fueled by an outstanding coaching staff, some of whom teach academic classes during the day. Students benefit from their relationships with faculty in the classroom as well as on the field, creating a well-rounded connection with their coaches and teachers.
All activities within the sports program exemplify the school’s commitment to a Christ-like witness, and reflect AACS policies, procedures and philosophies. Participation in athletics at AACS is open to all students contingent upon their meeting the criteria of academics, character, and athletic skill. 70% of upper school students participate in a competitive sport. Participants are regarded not only as athletes, but as student-athletes; therefore, consideration is given to their academic schedules, and they are held to high standards of excellence. When scheduling practices and competitions, the distinctive developmental and scheduling needs of AACS students are always considered.
At AACS, our goal in the Middle School athletic program is to teach students how to be Christian Athletes. We take both of those words seriously, taking great joy in using our skills in the sports we love as a means of praising God.
Expectations for Coaches
Coaches will: be Christian men and women who are active members of a Christian church and fully support the mission of the school. Be highly skilled in their abilities to lead student-athletes and to teach the skills and strategies of the game. Conduct a preseason parent meeting to review expectations, contact information and general team procedures and schedules. Follow conference and sport rules and regulations. Provide consistent structure and ensure that similar philosophies are implemented at all levels of the program. Take an interest in each player as a member of the team, as a student, and as an individual. Promote players reaching for their best effort, working together as a team, finding meaning in the experience and growing in their relationship with Christ. Communicate clearly with players and treat them fairly. Be a continual learner as a coach and bring expertise to the sport. Support a player’s decision to participate in extracurricular activities and other sports. Act in a way that brings honor to self, AACS and God. Coaches will not only to teach the sport, but more importantly will serve as role models and influence young lives for Christ.
Expectations for Student-Athletes
Student-Athletes will: do homework each evening and prepare for papers, tests and major assignments. Demonstrate good sportsmanship and Christ-like behavior. Follow the rules of the game. Respect teammates, opponents, the coaching staff and officials. Follow all school rules. Be available for practices and competitions and arrive on time with the appropriate equipment. Be “coachable.” Arrive to practice with a willingness to learn, to contribute to the team’s goals, and to do your best. Be a supportive teammate. Align self-ambitions with those of the team, and look to the team first and self second. Remain positive and competitive regardless of playing time, personal performance, or the score. Communicate with teammates and coaches. Speak with the team captain or a coach about any problems or concerns. Follow the appropriate line of communication for any concern unresolved after a conversation with a team captain or coach. The line of communication is Head Coach, Athletic Director, Principal, Superintendent. Act in a way that brings honor to self, family, AACS and God.
Expectations for Parents
Parents will: attend the preseason parent meeting held by the coach. Make sure athletic forms are submitted on time. Schedule appointments so they do not conflict with team practices and competitions. Provide for transportation and ensure athletes are on time for practices and competitions. Model Christ-like behavior by respecting opponents and officials. Take an interest in athletic experiences by taking an interest in the experience of the whole team, not just their child’s experience. Model the virtues they wish to see in their child. Encourage their child to advocate for him/her self. Let your child know that win or lose he/she is loved and his/her efforts are appreciated. Respect the coaches. Refrain from coaching from the stands. Refrain from raising concerns with a coach right before or after a contest. Waiting twenty-four hours often results in a more clear train of thought and conversation. Encourage their child to speak with the team captain or coach if he/she has concerns with playing time, role or position. Follow the appropriate line of communication for any concern. The line of communication is Head Coach, Athletic Director, Principal, Superintendent. Act in a way that brings honor to self, family, AACS and God and expect your child to do the same.
Expectations for Fans
Fans will: Cheer for AACS teams and not against opponents. Be considerate hosts at home contests and courteous guests at away contests. Respect student-athletes, coaches, guests and officials and refrain from addressing them individually or making derogatory cheers about them. Respect the school’s property and facilities, both at home and away contests. Respect the playing field/court both during and after a contest. Be humble in victory, gracious in defeat. Act in a way that brings honor to self, family, AACS and God.
AACS is a member of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM, www.iaamsports.com) for girls; and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA, www.miaasports.net) for boys. AACS adheres to all IAAM and MIAA rules and regulations.
AACS does not offer athletic scholarships or preferential financial aid treatment for student-athletes. All financial aid is need based.
There is no athletic fee for student-athletes to participate in sports at the Upper School, these fees are include in the activities fee. There is a $110 athletic fee to participate on a Middle School team. The athletic fee is applicable if the student-athlete is on the roster after the first official game has been completed. There will be no refunds if the student-athlete quits the team after the first official contest. AACS will send out an invoice for the fee.
Emphasis is placed upon individual and team development. Student-athletes are challenged to commit to something greater than themselves and to excel in skill development, fitness and learning team concepts. Players are expected to be available for all practices and games and are responsible for taking care of all uniforms and equipment issued to them. Student-athletes will be charged for lost or damaged items. On the varsity level participation and playing time are at the discretion of the coach. On junior varsity teams, student-athletes can expect to participate in a part of most contests. On middle school teams, student-athletes can expect to participate in every contest. The amount of playing time is at the discretion of the coach.
Tryouts and Practice
Student-athletes must be fully enrolled (minimum of four courses) at AACS in order to tryout or practice with a team. Student-athletes will be given at least a three day tryout at the start of the season to make a team. They are expected to be at all tryout dates. Student-athletes may switch sports during a season as long as the switch is made before final “cuts” have occurred in the two respective sports. Student-athletes quitting a sport after final “cuts” may not participate in another sport until the conclusion of that season, unless mutually agreed upon by coaches of the two sports and the athletic director. Student-athletes who are academically ineligible at the start of tryouts are not guaranteed a tryout when and if they become eligible. It is the discretion of the head coach whether or not to allow a student to tryout once eligible. Teams may practice Monday through Saturday. On most days, teams will practice no longer than 2 hours. Occasionally, varsity teams may practice for 2 ½ hours. Fall and spring practices will end no later than 6:30 pm. Winter practices will end no later than 8:00 pm. Please note that student-athletes must be in school for a full day in order to play or practice. Exceptions will be made for doctor’s appointments, funerals or emergencies. A doctor’s note must be presented in order to participate. All other emergencies will be addressed by the administration.
Because of numbers and limited facilities, a student may sometimes be “cut” from a team. The number and size of the teams offered will depend on availability of facilities, resources, personnel and scheduling potential.
Varsity coaches are expected to run summer off-season programs to encourage their players to get stronger and improve their skills. Participation in off-season training, clubs or camps is optional but strongly recommended. Participation in these types of activities will not guarantee a spot on the team during the next season, but it will help to increase the chances of making the team. If a student-athlete chooses not to participate in off-season workouts it will not be held against him or her during tryouts or the regular season. AACS coaches may not charge for private sports lessons with AACS student-athletes in the sport they coach.
Athletic games and matches will be scheduled to minimize the amount of missed class time. Occasionally games are scheduled on Saturdays. No games will be scheduled during final exam week or on Sundays.
- Athletic games take priority over tests and quizzes. If a student-athlete is going to miss a test due to an athletic contest he/she should take the test the same day during a free period if he/she has one available. Otherwise, the student-athlete will take the test the next school day during a free period if he/she has one available or immediately after school. It is the student-athlete’s responsibility to speak with the teacher to arrange when the makeup test will be taken.
- Make up tests and quizzes take priority over athletic practices.
- AP tests take priority over athletic games.
- Major performing arts performances and dress rehearsals take priority over athletic practices.
- The Athletic Department will work closely with the Performing Arts Department on scheduling to avoid conflicts with regards to major performances and games. Conflicts will be resolved by the principal, athletic director and the performing arts director.
AACS will provide transportation to games and offsite practices whenever possible. When school transportation is provided, the entire team must ride together to and from the designated location of the contest (unless excused by parental request and approval of the head coach). Students may not ride with a student to a game or practice if school transportation is provided. Teams are not to stop for meals after games when school is in session the next day. This allows student-athletes to get home sooner for academic purposes.