Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Kids on Sports Block off to Good Start

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Kids on Sports Block off to Good Start

Article excerpt

Competing against teams that are bigger, older and more experienced could create a frustrating school year for athletes at Seckman High, which opened last month.

The school has taken a dive into varsity sports despite the lack of a senior class, loading some teams with freshmen and sophomores. But the school's athletic administrators felt the learning experience would be worth any lumps received.

"You have to sell kids on this being a new school and that they have a chance for a new challenge," athletic director Paul Nealis said. "What you want to do on this level is tell them we are going to play more experienced teams, but we can learn from them and learn how competitive we can be." Seckman, located in the Fox School District eight miles from Fox High, will field varsity teams in all sports except football, despite the turnout of more than 80 players. In cross country, individual runners will participate in varsity meets. Otherwise, the school has gone full bore with its 1,110 students, and n ot all teams have been overmatched. The softball team started 10-6 and last weekend placed second in the Seckman Tournament. The football program also has started strong. The junior varsity team opened with a 20-20 tie against Althoff and the freshman team is 2-0. Seckman is expected to be a Class 4A football program next year. The school will not field teams this year in girls tennis, golf and swimming and boys swimming. Several coaches from Fox moved to Seckman, including head wrestling coach Steve Alden. Francis Howell Central opened this year with freshman and sophomore classes and will field teams in all sports. Most regular-season games will be against lower-level teams, but Central will compete at the varsity level in all district tournaments except football. Central is in the St. Charles School District. Central has about 1,000 students but is expected to grow to about 1,500 next year and play its first varsity football season at the Class 5A level. Second Chance When Linda Potter taught and coached at Villa Duchesne in the 1970s, girls golf was relegated to club status, thus she never coached her favorite sport. …

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