After seven years of being the Athletic Director at BMSS I did not reapply for the position for the coming term. I will remain at the school as a PE teacher and as a coach. I am writing this post to thank the people who have made the job rewarding and the rise of Mountain Athletics possible.
In September of 2011 when I walked in the door I had a commitment from 3 coaches for the coming year. I was one of them. At that time, I think it is fair to say that Athletics was not a selling point for students at Mountain. There was a total of 20 banners on the wall from the first 11 years of the school. I am proud to say that an additional 46 have been earned in my time here.
After my first year in the role, I established three goals for Athletics:
- Increase opportunities for students to take part in extra-curricular sport, either in Intramural programs or Extramural school sports.
- Begin to establish a Culture of sport in the school that focuses on Respect-Excellence-Responsibility in all areas of the school not just the competition surface.
- Increase profile of the athletes in the school and share recognition of their accomplishments.
Throughout the years each of these goals were achieved and exceeded.
The Athlete of the Year award was all that was available when I arrived. I created a number of awards and recognition avenues for the Athletics Program which helped to establish the culture.
- Year-end Athletic Awards Banquet
- Establishment of new award categories:
- Team MVP and Heart of the Lion
- Athlete of the Month
- Academic and Athletic All Stars
- Athletics Top student
- Service Award in 5 categories
- The Pride Points Medallion program
- Scholarships for both sport and academics
Back in 2011, we ran 20 teams with 21 different coaches. That year we had 263 athletes involved in sport. In 2017-18, we ran 39 teams with 50 different coaches/sponsors and over 400 athletes. We won 11 banners just this year! Clearly, our school has come a long way.
Now for the thank you’s to the people that have made Mountain’s success possible.
To the 131 coaches and sponsors I have worked with from the school, the community, the alumni and the students. Obviously, a number of the coaches have come back year after year (too many to mention) but you have been vital to creating our culture and supporting our athletes. The large number of community coaches and parents has also been an important part of our success. Thank you very much for all of the volunteer hours you give. Long serving coaches include Greg Matic, Tony Kho, Cynthia Mah, and Joe Smith.
A special THANK YOU to Steve Sacilotto and Fonda ‘the architect’ Papathanasiou for your support of Athletics and for being those two coaches committed on my first day. Also, Cassie Der, who has been coaching here longer than she has been teaching here and for taking on multiple teams each year.
One of the greatest successes I have witnessed is the return of the alumni to coach and to pass on the lessons learned about culture and sport. You are all wonderful people and I am proud of how you have all grown as people. The standouts in this category for being committed throughout my tenure are Camille Cruz, Danette Mui, Marianna and Julia Hodanic and Kile Cooke.
In my first year at the school I created a Sports Council to help organize and run games. The students who have been a part of this, and later the Recreational Leadership course, have been some of the hardest working students in this school. Thank you to the principal, Andy Chin, who made this course possible and for his unwavering support of athletics while here. The hours these students have dedicated have made the successes of our Athletics program possible. Whether it was Cake tournaments, regular season games, or just filling in at the last minute; the students who run the games have been fantastic. At this year’s awards banquet, I dedicated a court side seat to the alumni who most exemplified these qualities: Christina Park, Klaudine Magbitang, Eric Cheng, Shaireen Cassamali, Shaqueel Cassamali, Cari Ma, Jamie VanDen Broek, Zach Morley, Sristika Chand, Tyler Clough, Olivia Martin, Eric Vu, Elyse Willan and soon to be alumni Samiksha Chand. This seat is permanently reserved for any of you who return to see a game.
Finally, the athletes of the school have really bought in to “Excellence in Sport” and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of them; especially the athletes that I personally coached in Cross Country, Track, Volleyball and Basketball.
Together, we have built a great community that other schools recognize and ask how to duplicate. Parents now enroll their children at BMSS not only for the academics but also the incredible athletic opportunities that exist.
Thank you all for a great 7 years and good luck to Jarett Richardson who is taking over the role.
— Larry Ryan