The 2017–18 Nueva athletics season came to a close Thursday night with a celebration of the year in sports, and a reflection of the growth and success of the athletics program over the past five years. In total, 34 athletes were recognized with All-League Team Awards across every sport at the Middle and Upper Schools, and five teams competed at the CCS level.
Other competitive highlights from the year included:
- Upper School Boys' and Girls' cross-country teams captured their second consecutive league championships, and finished in the Top 10 at the CIF State Cross-Country Championships.
- Upper School Boys' Basketball made it to the CCS Quarterfinals, led by eleventh grader Kyle M., who passed 1,000 career points and captured the league MVP award.
- The Middle School Flag Football team was undefeated this season.
- The Middle School Girls' Soccer team was League Champion.
- Middle School Golf finished second overall in the WBAL Tournament.
- Upper School Boys' Soccer finished in 2nd Place in PSAL and named five players to an All-League Team, including twelfth grader Steven D., who was named to Prep2Prep’s All-CCS Team.
- Swimming and Diving teams both competed at the CCS Meet.
- Three ninth-grade girls were named to the All-League Volleyball team.
- Twelfth-grade student Ethan W. captured the WBAL Boys' 800m championship in track & field and will advance to the CCS Finals this weekend.
During the 2017–18 season, 64% of students in grades 4–8 participated in Nueva athletics, with 50% of these students playing more than one sport. At the Upper School, 48% of students participated in the Nueva athletics program.
“Nueva athletics allows players from all skill levels to join, and values the growth and development of players just as much as winning,” one eleventh-grade student said.
The evening also signaled the end of PreK–12 Athletic Director Amrit Chima’s time leading the Mavericks' athletics program, as she will leave Nueva to pursue other opportunities this summer. “When I started at Nueva in 2013, the Dungeons and Dragons Club had more members than our athletics program,” Amrit said. “It’s been incredible to see the growth of this program over the past five years.”
PreK–12 Assistant Athletics Director Chris Wade echoed the sentiment of growth, noting that the progression and commitment of student athletes in the Middle School over the past year was a highlight for him. “Athletics promotes confidence, time management, teamwork, and respect for your school, your family, and your team,” he said. “It was great to see these students take ownership of their athletic experience and really step up and show these qualities."
Amrit invited the founder & CEO of the Positive Coaching Alliance, Jim Thompson, to address the Mavericks during dinner with an inspiring speech filled with “relentless positivity,” and encouraged everyone in attendance to, “Be an ELEVATER, lift people up!”
“We are living in a world that has a lot of problems, and it’s going to take every one of us to be an elevater, to look around and think, how can I make this better?” he said. The Positive Coaching Alliance encourages coaches, athletes, and parents to use the power of positive reinforcement to pursue winning and teaching life lessons through sports.
The Nueva Athletics program sets an example of this positivity, with one twelfth-grade student noting that the “Nueva Athletics community is warm and inviting. All athletes are enthusiastically welcomed and accepted!”
At the end of the night, Amrit received a standing ovation and many tearful hugs from students filled with gratitude for their positive experience on athletics teams this year.
“It is impressive and humbling to look at where we started five years ago at zero percent participation,” Upper School Division Head Stephen Dunn said. “If athletics represents the spirit of a school, then Amrit represents the spirit of the spirit of Nueva. Thank you for being so willing to step up and take it all on.”
The search for a new PreK–12 Athletics Director is on, but the impact Amrit made on the Athletics program will be felt into the next season, with coaches and parent volunteers continuing to practice the approach of the Positive Coaching Alliance.
“I’ve been on different teams since I was four years old and find that to be the best way to work,” Amrit said. “Thank you for your love and support, and for showing up for me as part of my team.”
By Louise Schultze, Interim Director of Communications
May 30, 2018