Athletics as a Learning Experience

At Catlin Gabel, we value academic excellence and a life of the mind. It would be a narrow education, however, if that was our only focus. Donning the blue and white uniform of a Catlin Gabel Eagle and taking to the field (or the court, track, pool, course, or mountain) is an important learning experience for all students. As our athletic director Sandy Luu often says, sports don’t automatically build character, but they do reveal it. Playing sports at Catlin Gabel gives our students an opportunity to build their character through choices they make each day in practice and games.

In fact, it has been a stellar year for our varsity boys and girls teams. Catlin Gabel has earned the OSAA All-Sports Award, given to the school with the most postseason success of any 3A school in the state. Those impressive results include state championships in girls’ tennis, and in boys’ track and field, cross country, and swimming. We earned state playoff bids in girls’ soccer, swimming, skiing, volleyball, and cross country, and in boys’ soccer, tennis, skiing, and golf. Our boys’ baseball team made it to the league playoffs for the first time in generations.

Our Upper School athletes’ success is the result of their hard work, the dedication of the coaches, and developing clear goals for our athletics program. Those include improving the quality of our coaching; establishing varsity coaches as “program heads” who align program philosophy and strategies in grades 6-12; setting proficiency standards for our athletes so that they and their coaches can monitor their progress; and coaches researching successful programs to identify ways we can strengthen every athlete’s experience and every team’s season.

A successful athletics program requires numerous elements: skilled coaching, a philosophy and goals appropriate to the age and skill level of the athletes, engaged and committed students, supportive parents, guardians, and teachers, and suitable facilities and equipment. Its quality is measured by the sportsmanship, skill development, and camaraderie students display, as well as the team’s success. We will continue to embrace near and long-term opportunities to enhance the athletic program as an integral aspect of the unrivalled education we offer.

In the media:

Read Portland Tribune coverage of the girls' tennis championship.

Read Oregonian coverage of the boys' track and field championship.

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