Sturgis Athletics

Brief Overview of Sturgis Athletic Program

By  Patrick O’Kane, Sturgis East Athletic Director

East West Girls soccerSturgis Athletics is entering its 16th year and things have never looked better!  As I enter my fifth year as athletic director at Sturgis East, I am more excited than ever to be part of this essential component to our school program.

Our current program directly serves approximately 70% of our student body.  Many of those student athletes play more than one sport throughout the year.  We are a participation based athletics program with a no cut policy for all sports.  We do not require any experience or any certain level of ability in order to play.  Athletes are divided into Varsity and JV teams based on athletic ability and experience.  Our coaches are experienced in their respective sports and, more importantly, are focused on the development of each individual’s athletic talent as well as their habits and values as a young adult.

As a school with no facilities of our own, we have forged strong relationships within our community and utilize public facilities to support our programs.  This often means transporting our athletes 20-30 minutes in order to practice.  Likewise, our ‘home’ games are often played several miles from our school!  In spite of these obvious drawbacks, our athletes are able to compete at the varsity level and, for several teams each year, qualify for the MIAA state tournament.

With the addition of Sturgis West in 2012, our programs took an exciting turn.  Faced with the opportunity to combine our programs to create more competitive teams (and reduce logistical challenges), we opted to keep our two school’s athletic programs separate.  With this decision, we are able to continue offering our programs to the entire student body and maintain our no-cut policy.  Since 2012, a healthy relationship has blossomed between the two schools–and made for some very exciting ‘East-West’ matches in all sports.

East BaseballSturgis Sports

Fall Winter Spring
Cross CountryField HockeyGolfGirls and Boys SoccerVolleyball Boys BasketballCheerGirls Basketball BaseballGirls and Boys LacrosseGirls and Boys TennisSoftball Track and Field


Testimonials from some of our former and current student athletes:


Makalia Lyons, Class of 2014 – East

VolleyballAn activity I have participated in, in which I have reference experience is varsity volleyball. In this activity, I was co-captain with Shannon Slater of the volleyball team from the very end of August until the beginning of November. In addition to being captain, I obviously had to participate in the actual sport as well; from practices to games, to states,and everything in between.

I have learned so much this season from volleyball, I don’t even know where to begin. In reference to self-knowledge, with respect to collaboration with others, I’ve learned how seriously I take this sport, and how much I love it as well. I’ve always known that my dedication to the sport was inseparable, and I’ve loved it since I was 3, but this year I learned how I want other people to take volleyball just as seriously as I do.

I believe to some extent reason and emotion can justify whether or not our team had a good season. When it comes to reason, one could use facts to determine whether or not a team had a good season. For example if a team went 16-0 for the season, one could use reason to justify that said team had a really fantastic season. I do believe emotion plays a much more crucial role in justifying whether our team specifically had a good season. From the very beginning of the season, we set a goal for ourselves: get to states. Seeing as we accomplished our biggest goal for the season I’d say we’ve had a great season. volleyball bwNow where does emotion play into all of this? When I think about how strongly I felt about want to go to states, and how strongly I wanted to win when we were at states, I believe that shows my love for the game and how much emotion I really put into the sport. When the team as a whole wanted so badly for us to win, the emotion was evident and I knew that the amount of emotion people had for only a game, showed that it had been a good season; people were really starting to understand how badly we wanted it, and I personally think that proves we had a good season.

On this knowledge issue, people could take the perspective of saying that only reason can justify whether or not our team had a good season. Seeing as our team didn’t have a perfect record, some people’s perspectives could be that, if we didn’t have a really good record, it wasn’t a good season. Another perspective could be that it’s solely emotion that can justify whether our team had a good season or not, which I think is not great either. There’s always those parents who say “it’s not about winning” but sometimes, it is.

This knowledge issue is really similar to a knowledge issue that could appear in any one of my academic courses. Reason could simply be switched out for grades, and the question would reflect more upon an academic basis. A good example of this would be last year’s math class. Last year in math, I was happy getting C’s on tests, because it was so incredibly hard for me to just pull that off. If someone was looking at the course grade wise, they’d say I was doing very poorly in the class, compared to my other classes. In reality though, I was proud of myself for the C’s I did get, and for passing the course, which is more emotion related.

The implications of this knowledge issue play a lot into my future season’s of volleyball specifically. Since I’ve really taken a deeper look into how I feel about the season and how I feel about the sport, I know more about how I want the season to go next year. I know now how seriously I take volleyball and how close it is to my heart. I feel as though this is also helping me realise that when something is really important to me, if something goes wrong, I’m going to have a very emotional reaction.

Laurenn DeDecko, Class of 2015 – East


Laurenn Dedecko

In lacrosse this year I think I grew not only as a player on the field but off the field as well. Although we finished our season with 0 wins, the team learned a lot and will hopefully be able to put it into next years season for some wins. I believe I reached all the learning outcomes and goals that I had set for myself at the beginning of the season. My first learning outcome was an increase of awareness in my strengths and weaknesses. During practice I was able to identify these strengths and weaknesses. In games, coach and I together took my strengths and put them in use as most as possible.The biggest weakness holding me back at this point is my left hand skills. Now that I have clearly identified this weakness I have been able to practice on my own time. All in all, I think this season was useful to help develop new skills. Not only on a personal level but on a team level we developed new ways of defense along with new ways to attack. Since I am a midfielder, I especially, had to work on developing skills on both sides of the field.

I hope to one day play either club or D3 lacrosse which means I must take all the challenges possible and put them forward in a positive way. When a challenge arises it is my responsibility to overcome the obstacles it has raised for me. One challenge this year was having to play midfielder and holding the team together on both sides of the field. Another challenge that I faced was playing with people which much less experience. Previous years there had always been girls that were way better, this year we had to take the young team we had and make them the most mature lacrosse players they could be. This also took a lot of cooperation and commitment to the team. Since the upperclassmen were limited to only 6 of us, it was important to show the underclassmen that we were all there to help them in becoming better.

Dedecko2One of the most important goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year was getting more goals than I did last year. Going to goal can be a terrifying thing for me because I hate to miss shots which can  sometimes mean spoiling a good play. I can easily say that because I took chances on the field I was able to score just about double the amount of goals I did the previous year.

Overall, the outcomes I and others got were becoming a team and learning how to work with each other. I personally, learned how to be a better leader and dedicated the majority of my spring to this team. I hope that next year we will be able to take our knowledge of the game and practice to have a better season.

Lucas Brown, Class of 2014

Soccer PosterI only have 1 soccer game left in my entire high school career, but as I approach this final game, I would like to look back and reflect on soccer.  First off, I’m not the best player.  Not even close.  It’s kind of why I’m still on Junior Varsity as a Senior.  But honestly?  I really don’t care about that.  Or even winning for that matter.  I play to have fun.  I play to do something that I don’t normally do, to get out, run around, and exercise.  I go to every practice, and every game.  I know what my weaknesses are, and believe me, I’ve vastly improved from Freshman year.  My juggling skills in particular are a source of improvement, from a point where I couldn’t touch the ball twice in a row to the point where I can keep it in the air indefinitely.  I’ve also learned how to lift the ball, which has vastly improved my corner and goal kicks.  I have beautiful  corners.

More importantly, though, I’ve been proud to watch the formation of the JV team, year after year.  The team has always been different each year, and always dysfunctional at the beginning of the season,  However, invariably, by the end of the season, everyone works together like a well oiled machine, and it’s a wonderful thing to see.  I enjoy the camaraderie of the JV team, which is less winning intensive than Varsity. The JV has fun together.  Take the Nantucket trip for example.  The JV all sat together and had an arm wrestling tournament.  A totally juvenile thing to do, but it was a lot more fun than what the varsity did.  Overall, I’m glad I chose to play soccer Freshman year.  It’s been an absolute joy.

Emily McGlone

Basketball and CheerCheer has been an experience, and I have to say that I am sad that it is over, which is something that I did not expect.

One of the learning outcomes that I had for cheer was to work collaboratively with others. All throughout cheer we had to work together in order to look uniformed in our cheers and dances and to be able to put our stunts up. I really do feel that we were able to work together, because without being able to work so well together would have never won best stunting in our Showcase. I never felt like we were working so well together until Sturgis United, where cheerleaders from West joined us to put together a cheer for the dodge-ball game. I was able to stunt with some of the girls from West, and were able to do it so well in such a short amount of time which is generally hard to do. Also it was nice stunting with a girl from West during our halftime because really showed how East and West can come together. At times it was not always easy, because people have different opinions on how things should go, but in the end we were able to fix all of the problems and work together as a team.

Another learning outcome that I had was to learn new skills. I really feel like I learned a lot during cheer, not only about cheer but able working with others and exercises. We did a lot of conditioning and I learned a lot about the proper ways of exercises and how you’re supposed to hold yourself in wall sits, and that a SONY DSCburpee includes a swat. I also learned how to be a cheerleader and what that entails; such as how you need to stand at a game, and that there are different forms of clapping. I went into cheer knowing absolutely nothing about cheerleading and I really feel like I learned a lot. I loved learning how to stunt, and even though I only learned how to do a half, that is the basics that you need to know and I am ready to learn a lot more at cheer camp and next season. I feel like know I really know how to be a cheerleader and all of the work you need to put into it to be good cheerleader.

Finally, my third learning outcome for cheer was undertaking new challenges. I went into the season knowing absolutely nothing about cheerleading, and I was told that it was not too much work. I was quickly proved wrong, because our coach really pushed us to do a lot of conditioning, to the point where half of the practice was conditioning some days. I was ready for that challenge, since I did not remember the last time I truly exercised, but I was really nervous about it. But by the end of the season, I was happy that I took up the challenge of conditioning because I felt really good about myself after because I was finally in shape. Another challenge that I had was that I joined the team only really talking to one person in the team, and I am a generally shy person so getting myself out there to talk to others on the team was a challenge, but in the end I made some really good friends. Overall, joining cheer was a new challenge for me since it was nothing that I had ever done before, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into; but I am so glad that I did it because I had so much fun.

Christina Wahle, Class 2014 – West

12th Annual MIAA Student Sportsmanship Essay/Multimedia Contest – Finalist
Fall Athletics West

Joey Adams once said, “If it weren’t for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn’t get any exercise at all” (Adams). Many students have not yet realized that the benefits of participation in sports reach far beyond the cardiovascular aspect. Educational athletics provide the building blocks for a successful future by encouraging teamwork, risk-taking, and overcoming defeat.

Much of our future achievement depends on how well we cooperate with others. In soccer, I learned from an early age that being a ‘ball hog’ is not beneficial for the team as a whole; rather, the more I passed the ball and shared the spotlight, the more efficiently my team played. Similarly, cooperation increases the productivity of a team of architects, a body of government, and a group of students attempting a school project. In the workforce, letting go of our ingrained self-righteous mindset and being able to come to conclusions together creates synergy that one person could never achieve alone.

Athletics provide students with the opportunity to take risks. In sports we are handed many hidden risk-taking opportunities: to shoot the ball in the net or pass it, volunteer as goalie or wait for someone else to step up, run that extra mile when it seems near impossible or give up before the finish line. Likewise in life we can choose to either stay in our comfort zone or challenge ourselves. After all the only way a born-actor will become a famous Broadway star is by auditioning for the lead role. In truth, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take” (Wayne Gretzy).

west girls bball teamEducational athletics teach us that overcoming defeat is feasible when we disregard the score. In the end, success is not measured by wins and losses but rather by the values learned through the process. Responsibility, leadership and cooperation are just a few of these values that are necessary for future employment, long lasting friendships and self-confidence. Life is full of defeats but it we look at experiences with this new perspective we realize that every situation is a win if we tried our best and learned something along the way.

Educational athletics do far more than improve one’s athleticism and blood circulation; they promote working well with others, taking risks and overcome hardships. Personally, athletics have not only increased my aspirations but helped me on my journey to becoming a well-rounded individual who seeks to fulfill her highest potential. For others, it is only a matter of opening the door to see all that educational athletics has to offer.

Kate O’Hara,  Varsity Girls Lacrosse Coach – West

Community Minded Lacrosse

Community minded lacrosse

What a weekend for Sturgis! This morning, the Sturgis West Girls Lacrosse team volunteered at the Viva 5k at Barnstable High School. The race and event benefit free recreational programs for students with limited resources and raises awareness about healthy living. The lacrosse team arrived at 6:30 AM, registered runners, staffed the water tables and the race route. It was a great day! Pictured is John Gleason, Director of Barnstable Recreation giving job assignments to the team. Go Sturgis!

“Katie and her team were easy to work with and they brought an amazing amount of energy to their volunteer responsibilities.  They were racecourse monitors and they cheered for every runner and walker that they came in contact with.  I heard from a lot of the participants after the race about how friendly/enthusiastic they were as they ran/walked by.”                                                                                                                                                             John Gleason, Barnstable Recreation

Althea Turley, Class of 2016 – West

How my experiences as a female athlete will serve me in the future

West volleyball teamI cried the first time I lost.  I was four, and my Dad destroyed me at checkers. I remember this because my Mom, who was playing peek-a-boo with my little sister, rushed over and yelled at my dad. He stood his ground. “What? You know she will lose often. She has to accept it.” At the time, I was so upset with him; I didn’t talk to him for a week. But after 10 or so years of playing sports, I realize how right he was.

west softballMy girlfriends often tease me about all the sports I play. I’ve narrowed it down to softball, basketball and volleyball, but I’ve also swam, golfed, played soccer and lacrosse competitively, and hockey and tennis for fun. In all of these sports, I’ve been successful at times, winning lots of games, even championships in softball, basketball, and volleyball. I’ve also been on teams which have not even reached .500. This has forced me to stay positive when I lose and gracious when I win. I accept my defeats, not only in games, but also in life and I focus on what I can improve. I wouldn’t have lasted long as a female athlete if I hadn’t.

As a female athlete I am still in the minority. Most of my friends have tons of free time and have parties all weekend because they don’t seriously commit to sports. Last month, after my school’s Homecoming Dance, I had to watch as several of my friends drove away to a sleep-over while I went home to get ready for a volleyball tournament at 8:00 a.m. the next day. There have been the disappointments of not being able to go to a friend’s house because I made a commitment to a travel west softball outsoftball team from a town two hours away, or working through an exhausting basketball practice ending late at night because the better, earlier time was given to the boys travel team. Many nights in seventh grade, I finished a game with my middle school basketball team by 7:00 only to jump in the car and go to a town travel basketball game held late at 9:00 after the boys were finished. I have had to listen to the stereotypes of a girl playing sports. I have been determined to compete and improve no matter what, and motivated to work through obstacles and disappointments. In the future, I know that I will face many challenges and defeats, but the obstacles in athletics that I have faced have me prepared.

Athletics have helped me learn to deal with disappointment by staying positive, determined and focused on my ultimate goal of being a successful, well-rounded person now and in the future.

West Sports Pictorial and Team Movies

By Brij Anand, Sturgis West Athletic Director 

Each season we celebrate the hard work and success of each sports team through an end of season recognition evening. Coach reflections, athletic awards and a team slideshow make up the main segments of the evening.  Team pictures, “action shots” and the team movie link can be found below.

West Field Hockey Goalee

Field Hockey Movie –

 Volleyball Movie –

Cross Country Movie –

Golf Movie –

Boys Soccer Movie –

Girls Soccer Movie –

Boys Basketball Movie –

Girls Basketball Movie –

Cheer Movie –

Baseball Movie –

Girls Lacrosse Movie –

Boys Lacrosse Movie –

Softball Movie –


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