New ideas added, old traditions revived around CLP athletics

Athletes, their parents, coaches and fans at Cache La Poudre Middle School are looking forward to the 2015-16 school year with a high level of enthusiasm. Assistant principal and athletic director Abby Himle is a prime mover in facilitating efforts to create a wholeness in the athletic program and incorporate old traditions with new ones in a sustainable way.

“We’re a small school,” she explained. “We have great, hard-working coaches but a small staff and it is sometimes difficult to maintain all that we do over time.”

“We’re working on a return to some pomp and circumstance,” Julie Brewen, team mom for the seventh grade Pirates football team, said. “We’ve incorporated singing the national anthem before games, making an effort to welcome visitors and announcing the names of all players,” she said. They also hold a variety of half-time activities. Brewen is committed to taking these efforts to a new level this season and is in charge of coordinating volunteers to join her. Erin Harvey is serving as team mom for the eighth grade team.

Julie’s husband, Jae Brewen, coaches the eighth grade team and is working closely with seventh grade coach, Marc Oliver, to unite the teams as a single unit.

Himle, who is in her fourth year at Cache La Poudre and whose husband, Mike, teaches at the school, is working to create added enthusiasm in all sports at the school. (The Himles’ two sons are CLP students.)

A program that identifies sportsmanship among the wrestlers identifies and honors certain members of the team by allowing them to wear camouflage singlets during a meet. The school also has basketball, volleyball, tennis and cross-country teams. Last year the basketball team won the district championship, an amazing accomplishment for such a small school.

Parents have initiated a concession stand during games and have revived the tradition of a pig roast potluck dinner at the end of the fall athletic season.Two coaches, Guy Jewett and Mike Adams did the pig roast for many years and now Mike Himle has taken on the challenge. Every year Joe Lee donates a pig and Mike sees that it gets cooked. A program to make it possible for athletes to get their physicals at the school instead of at a doctor’s office, was started this summer.

On a district-wide level, efforts to make the transition from middle school to high school football smoother and to encourage students to try out when they enter high school resulted in a week-long strength-training football camp for middle school players this summer. Also, Poudre High School assistant principal and athletic director Kendall Wilson has met with all the middle school coaches to facilitate working together.

This year there’s a little something extra in the air at Cache La Poudre Middle School. The football team’s first game is 3:30 p.m. Sept. 9.

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