Sept. 29, 2021- This school year, the Comal Independent School District is expanding its Intramural Sports program to include all elementary campuses across the district. This expansion allows fourth and fifth grade students to participate in three sports including volleyball, basketball and soccer. Additionally, the program offers sport stacking for kindergarten through fifth grades and bass fishing, fencing and table tennis for ninth through 12th grades.
For the past two years, the Intramural Sports program has been tested on a few campuses with great results. In fact, two students who participated in volleyball as fifth-grader students at Bill Brown Elementary are now teammates on the Smithson Valley Middle School volleyball team. They attribute their success to the first experience they had playing the sport on their elementary Intramural Sports team.
“That was the first opportunity I had to play volleyball and to see if I really liked it,” says Samantha Lapradd, 12. “We won the championship that year, and I think it helped me gain confidence.”
Teammate Shaylee McGinnis agrees with her.
“Being exposed to volleyball in the fifth grade at Bill Brown introduced me to the basic skills,” McGinnis says. “It was fun and helped inspire me to learn more about the game. It also gave me the confidence to try out for the SVMS volleyball team, and now, volleyball is my passion.”
Besides learning a sport and gaining skills, participation in the Intramural program provides students with the opportunity to be a part of a team and all that goes with that.
“This gives them the opportunity to interact with their peers besides a school setting,” says Kristen Pack, whose daughter Lilee Pack, 9, is playing basketball in this year’s Intramural program for a team at Indian Springs Elementary where she is a fourth-grade student.
“It teaches them to work together as a team, learn a sport, be physically active and listen to a coach. It’s nice that they are playing with other kids in their schools and other kids in the district who they will continue to see,” Pack says.
The basketball season is in full swing with the district championship scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 9. Registration for soccer opens Saturday, Oct. 2, and volleyball registration opens March 9, 2022. Each sport’s season lasts five weeks beginning with a clinic, three weekly games and ending with a championship tournament.
With more than 800 students across the district involved in the Intramural Sports program, volunteers are needed to coach, keep score, set up and clean up and more. Referees are needed as well and are compensated for each game.
-Samantha Lapradd and Shaylee McGinnis learned how to play volleyball as fifth-grade students at Bill Brown Elementary when they participated in the first Comal ISD Intramural Sports program. Today, they are seventh-grade students at Smithson Valley Middle School and have earned spots on the volleyball team.
-Indian Springs Elementary fifth-grade student, Ben Benavides, takes a shot during an Intramural basketball game Saturday, Sept. 25.
-Indian Springs Elementary fifth-grade student, Brayden Medina, takes the ball down the court during an Intramural basketball game Saturday, Sept. 25