by Ellie Novaes, Lower School PE Teacher, and Coach
As a Lower School teacher who at one time coached older student athletes, I often look for opportunities for Upper School athletes to have a positive influence on the Lower School students that choose to participate in our after-school sports program in Grades 4-6. I particularly want my girls teams to be hooked and love the sport they are playing—more than just playing for fun—so that they will consider pursuing it throughout their Brentwood years.
To this end, in 2010, I asked Varsity Girls Basketball Coach Charles Solomon and his coaching staff to offer a basketball clinic to the 4th Grade girls team that I was coaching at the time. The clinic was a huge success. Right after, I suggested to the Lower School girls' parents to take their daughters to watch a Girls Varsity basketball game. One thing led to another until I had the idea to ask Charles if my girls could play an exhibition game during halftime at one of their games. He loved the idea and that's when it all started. The event has been a success over the years and the girls reported great things from their experience this past week. "Fun, but a little stressful." "Excited to think of playing in the Eagledome when we get older." "Tiring because the court is bigger than we're used to, but still lots of fun." It is a memorable time—playing in the East Campus Eagledome, in front of the Varsity team and coaches, and for a bigger crowd than usual.
I'm looking forward to bringing other student athletes from the Lower School to the Eagledome next season, including 4th Grade Boys Volleyball! Stay tuned and Go Eagles!