Lightning Athletics Celebration Evening

Lightning Athletics Celebration Evening

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Our Athletics Celebration Evening came back this year to celebrate the power of school sport. Since we last hosted this event, we’ve been re-envisioning our athletics program to tie it more closely to our vision for community impact, fostering and discipling athletes to glorify God through their leadership and service and fulfilling the athletics mission statement: “to educate, inspire and equip student-athletes to discover their gifts, build their character, selflessly serve others and make a positive IMPACT in their community.” This year, and over the coming year, we are working on improving our awards and celebration process as part of the athletics component of our strategic plan. We are also exploring early draft concepts for a new school mascot and improvements to our athletic facilities planned for the coming years. In 2021-22 we added new sports and recreation opportunities, including a golf team for the first time ever. We are also working with some community partners in exploring the feasibility of adding a high school hockey team in the future.

As part of our athletics plan moving forward, we introduced some new athletics awards this year, and will be making further changes to the others in 2022-23 as part of our plan to introduce a new plan for recognizing and celebrating excellence in academics, arts, athletics and Christian character. This year we introduced the Lightning Alumnus Award which recognized an LCS alumni who continued to pursue excellence in service, academics and sport beyond their high school career. This year we recognized Olivia Heinen, a Spartan Complete Champion and winner at the 2022 USport Volleyball Championships. In our interview, Olivia spoke to the power of connection and relationship, and about how leadership is about the little things you do to serve or encourage others, and she was grateful for the coaches and mentors in her life who taught her how to be a woman of God. She is excited to begin her career in psychology.

We also recognized our first Lightning Impact Coach for 2021-22, Danielle Gardner for her continued dedication to coaching senior basketball and building value-based, grassroots basketball development in our community. We also recognized coaches Eric VanHuizen, Lisa Bontkes and Brynden McTavish for their long-standing contributions to coaching at LCS.

Thank you to all our first year coaches who jumped in to contribute to our program this year. There were so many collective achievements and memories in 2021-22 that our coaches helped make possible. We are blessed to have a program with such talented student-athletes and such high rates of participation supported by generous sacrifice of time and resources by our staff and volunteer coaches. We recognize and appreciate the leadership and passion of our athletic directors, Jim Beard, Jon Kuehl and Jon Mayan, who during the COVID period kept our athletics program running and providing opportunities for kids to continue playing and connecting.

Congratulations to all our award recipients and to the scores of other athletes, parents and coaches whose shoulders and teamwork they stand on to reach their achievements. To our graduating athletes, thank you for modelling Christ-like perseverance and dedication to excellence to our community. We are excited to see what they will achieve in their future journey.

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” Hebrews 12:1

We Believe. We are all Lightning.