Saint Bede athletic director Tom McGunnigal would like to develop more four-year, three-sports athletes at the Academy. He believes it is good for the soul and the mind and bodies of the Academy student-athletes, not to mention the Bruins sports programs.
As a result, the Saint Bede Academy Athletic Department has established the Fr. Kevin Gorman, O.S.B. Award, named after the former long-time SBA athletic director which will recognize senior athletes, who upon completion of their senior year have participated for four years in three-sport seasons.
McGunnigal said the idea came about from his coaches’ summits with the Bruin coaching staff.
“We wanted to keep kids involved, keep kids interested, expound sport bases, in particular some of our minor sports, track and field, cross country, fill the gap when kids aren’t doing anything,” McGunnigal said. “I’m hoping this will be an incentive of two, three, four kids or whatever it might be, that they might stay with a sport, Or if they don’t feel a love for one sport or another, they find another alternative in that same season, and they stay active. I hope that incentive would maintain and increase our population in some sports.
“I think it rare to find thee-sport athlete. I think it’s unfortunate not to find the three-sport athlete. I think it’s so vital for the development of the human body at 14, 15, 16 years, 17 years old, that they maintain as much activity as possible.”
McGunnigal said Bruins coach Mike Kilmartin had shared about the similar award at Mendota. Sterling also has its “S” Award, recognizing its four-year, three-sport athletes with a prominent display in the foyer of Musgrove Fieldhouse.
Father Gorman, who served as the Academy AD from 1958-84 and now lives in a Lacon nursing home, was an easy choice in which to name the honor.
“There’s no better time than the present to do this and no better person to recognize than Father Kevin,” McGunnigal said. “He was the AD everybody associated with at Saint Bede. That’s the guy. That’s the guy I remember when I came out here at games, and I think a lot of people have fond memories of Father Kevin.”
McGunnigal noted a student-athlete could play one fall sport for two or three seasons and switch to another the next and would still be eligible for this award, just as long as they participated in three sports for all four school years.
Although it is still to be determined how the Gorman Award winners will be displayed, McGunnigal envisions it having a prominent place with the appropriate recognition given to those who receive the award.
• Having viewed the “S” Award winners on display at Sterling Tuesday night, and seeing how much the award meant to those kids pictured in the fieldhouse foyer, I think McGunnigal has an excellent idea. It’s a win-win for the both the Academy and the kids. I believe all kids should be active in as many school activities as they can and would encourage all our schools to motivate their student-athletes to play year-round. All of our programs can use these athletes.
• Right down Central: Administrator Max Lauritzen said District 20 has received the official word from Central Region Headquarters in Indianapolis that the Central Region Senior Baseball Regional Tournament will be coming back to District 20 for the 2013 season
Lauritzen signed off from the announcement, saying “I approve this message.”
• What a great story that was about the JFL game in which Princeton allowed a Dixon special-needs player to score a touchdown. Jacob Garland will remember that moment the rest of his life. I’d be interested if anyone video taped the moment. Please let me if you did.
Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org