The More Virtue - The Better

 
Here below are numerous comments from parents associated with the Cincinnati St Gertrude football program. Their boys were on four different teams ranging in age from 5-13.

The season goes by so fast. We'll never regret giving kids "too much" virtue.

...

I wanted to share comments about our boys from St. Thomas More's varsity coach. My cousin and her family go to St. Thomas More, her daughter was working concession stand, and my cousin was speaking to the varsity head coach after our game. He told her we were the nicest team they'd played and they were very impressed with our boys' attitudes - how they kept working hard, never giving up, not getting frustrated, just playing hard, and playing clean.

So I wanted to pass that on.  The coach did not know that my cousin had any connection to St. Gertrude - it was just an observation to her about our team.

Also, during the season, I noticed that our boys were not looking for "help" from the refs, not questioning calls, or getting huffy if a penalty was called on them, whether  they felt it was deserved or not.  They seemed to handle that part of the game with maybe a little more maturity.
...

First thank you to all of the men who coached our boys – they were wonderful! David truly loved his first football experience. He said just the other night – “Mom, you know what – it is nine months until football season…." He cannot wait to get back to it…

I think that being part of something that you feel that you really love doing makes all the difference – David grew as a young man  - part of a team – and he knows his prayers better then all of us…
...

Sometimes with team sports you worry about – sportsmanship -    Not with this program – nothing gets lost…….. great game – great kids – thank you!!!
...

We think the SportsLeader program is a very good initiative taken by the school.  I think the boys benefitted from the program and it was good to see a program encouraging the father/son relationship.  I think we are off to a good start with this program.  This was the first year which is the year to learn and grow upon.  I think more organized/coordinated events (like what we did this year) in the future will benefit the families and program even more.    It is a great step in the right direction. 
...

I wanted to pass on my sincerest thanks to all of you for a great season. Your time and dedication to coaching our varsity team is appreciated more than you know. I do believe the boys grew in their roles and worked very hard to do their very best in every game. I am proud of them and they should be proud of their accomplishments too. I am grateful for each of you and the leadership you showed them as they all learned by your example. Some of the new traditions implemented this year definitely gave St Gertrude distinction over other schools and brought honor to our program, each of you as coaches, and our boys.  I was impressed by all and know others were as well.
...

Overall, I feel SportsLeader is a positive program, giving the boys the understanding that God should be the focus of everything they do including athletics.  I have witnessed positive behavior, leadership and sportsmanship from the boys that have improved; it is my opinion, because of the program.  I think it is important for SportsLeader to be adjusted or combined with other existing traditions the sports program has... for example, having a campout, football mass and dad jersey ceremony...am I missing anything...on the same weekend is too much. Next year events need to be planned out before the season so parents can make plans.
...

I think the program is great! I liked the mass and the jersey presentation early in the season
I loved what you guys did last weekend for the moms – the letters, roses and even Starbucks coffee was perfect! All in all the more virtues that the boys are exposed to the better.
...

SportsLeader is a great thing.  It is a great innovation.  _____  personally has had a great season.  He is not the fastest or most aggressive player, but he has learned that he’s capable of more than he realizes.  He has enjoyed the season.  He’s gotten in great physical shape.  More than that, he has become more mature and responsible – both in how he plans for his practices, and in how he takes care of his school work and handles himself in the household.  His grades are better than last year.  He walks taller than he did.
...

I think it is great when both teams assemble after a game to say a prayer - this great example "spreads the word" to the other schools and anyone in the stands watching.
...

We think the program has been awesome. I even asked the boys the other day what they felt about it. Both responses were positive and they felt it truly helps the kids be nicer to each other. I know the father/son jersey presentation meant a ton to both dad and the boys. It is so good for the boys to hear such love from their dads. I appreciated the letters the boys wrote to me. I want them to recognize and be appreciative of others so coaches’ encouragement is always helpful. I love that coach shared with the boys that he sent his mom a letter as well. Thank you all for a great football season. I believe any efforts made to help our boys grow into confident, thoughtful, caring, moral, and Catholic young men can only result in a positive outcome. This program can reinforce what is being taught in many homes and can also teach those who are not learning this at home. Sounds like a win/win situation to me.
...

Something happened with _____ over the past few months and in my heart I believe it is whatever you coaches are doing.  You are bringing him out and allowing him to know the feeling of being strong, proud and successful.  I cannot thank you all enough for what you have given him. 
...

I appreciate that _____ is hearing about virtues and then relating them to sports in general, football and particular but also what those virtues look like off the field – a far more important lesson in the long term.  I also appreciate that he’s being mentored on a weekly basis and talking about football and other stuff.
...

I enjoy the mentoring because I’m getting to know 4 players on the team that do not regularly practice with me (they are not lineman).  The greatest part of coaching is getting to know these guys and watching them develop through the season and when they go off to high school (and beyond presumably, though my first group are seniors now).  It is a hoot catching up with them when I see them around – I’m always surprised when they recall an incident at practice – and I think they are too when I recall one that they had forgotten.  This typically happens with my guys (lineman I’ve coached) but thanks to mentoring, I’m hopeful that I can add these 4 young guys to that list as well.  We talk football but spend most of our time on other topics.  I always quiz them on what they are reading and sometimes read it too.