Inside Panther Athletics
The Athletics program at Parish spans from Lower School through 12th grade, with well over 50 teams participating in a wide array of sports including:
Although Parish provides opportunities for students to participate in numerous different sports, it’s a fact that the School can’t provide all sports and athletic activities, at all levels, for all student athletes. For this reason, we have instituted an alternative athletic program that recognizes a student’s participation in off-campus athletic activity. A student who participates in an Olympic medal sport and/or a TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) sport that is not offered by Parish can gain P.E. credit for the off-campus athletic activity.
Student Trainer Program
Students who are interested in medicine and athletics can benefit from serving as a student trainer. Student trainers assist the athletic trainer who is responsible for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries. This position is important enough that student trainers can receive a letter. Other benefits include:
- Traveling with and being part of a team.
- Gaining knowledge that will help those planning on entering a career in the medical field, such as anatomy, injury evaluation and rehabilitation procedures.
- The possibility of receiving scholarships to go to college as a student trainer.
Concussion Management Program
Parish seeks to provide a safe return to activity for all athletes after injury, particularly after a concussion. In order to effectively and consistently manage these injuries, we have developed procedures to aid in insuring that concussed athletes are identified, treated and referred appropriately, receive appropriate follow-up medical care and are fully recovered prior to returning to activity.
There are three key areas that Parish has addressed in order to proactively address concussions.
- Equipment. We constantly research new equipment to make sure that every athlete in every sport has the right equipment to help prevent injuries.
- Experienced medical team. We have two adult licensed athletic trainers on staff who are trained in recognizing the signs and symptoms of a concussion as well as monitoring and referring the athlete to another medical professional. Our medical team also includes a team physician and a concussion specialist.
- ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion and Cognitive Testing) contract. ImPACT is a proven online concussion management tool that effectively and consistently manages concussion injuries.
In Upper School athletics, our objective is to provide the best possible skills development for our student-athletes in a safe and enjoyable environment, while being successful in interscholastic competitions.
Our goal is to have a varsity team and either two junior varsities (an A and B team) or a junior varsity and a freshman team. Tryout practice(s) are held prior to the start of every season and each student-athlete is evaluated by a group of coaches, led by the varsity head coach.
At the 7th and 8th grade level, Parish athletics emphasizes participation and fun. With this in mind, we encourage all students to play a sport, and our system is designed to accommodate them, regardless of their age, size, experience and ability.
In the Middle School programs, no student-athletes are cut from play. Our team placement approach groups players of similar talents and experience and then places that team in a competitive division of similarly talented teams. Each team works toward achieving the goals of continuous improvement, being competitive and consequently winning.
At this level, our paid coaches are generally assisted by parent volunteers.
For our 5th and 6th grade students, we believe that athletics should take into account each student’s degree of interest, need for coaching and level of commitment. At this level, experience, ability and growth rates vary widely as well. We also believe that the people who know these characteristics best are the parents of the athletes. For this reason, athletics at this level is a parent-driven program facilitated by the School.
Parish provides a clearinghouse for information related to sports and teams available, coaches’ contact information, a league directory, and access to field and court space for practice and games.
Coaches are volunteers, preferably parents of the student-athletes. The School and leagues offer coaching clinics for these volunteers. The Parish varsity coaches also offer assistance and guidance.
While Parish does not offer on-campus, organized sports for Lower School, the School does take a "Sports Fellowship" approach to Lower School athletics. The purpose of Sports Fellowship is to ensure that parents are informed of the opportunities for their children to participate on a grade-level sports team and for all of those who say "yes" to that invitation, finding (or forming, if needed) a team on which to play. When creating new teams, Sports Fellowship facilitates the formation; however, parent volunteer coaches are a requirement for a team to organize. The sports offerings covered by this invitation are basic (football, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball, etc.), are seasonal (fall, winter, spring/summer) and vary by grade level.