Athletics Handbook

Our Mission-

Equipping Minds, Strengthening Bodies and Nurturing Hearts through the vehicle of athletics to Impact the World for Jesus Christ.

Sterling Athletics helps to achieve the mission of the school by teaching the Christian way of competing and the Christian way of life as conveyed through our four core values in athletics:

  • Character – (Romans 5:3-4, 1 Corinthians 16:13, Matthew 5:6)
  • Commitment – (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Proverbs 10:5)
  • Community – (Philippians 2:3-4, 1 Thessalonians 5:14)
  • Teamwork – (1 Corinthians 1:10, Proverbs 27:17)

The Sterling Athletic Department acknowledges the following order of priorities in our school: (1) God; (2) Family; (3) Academics; and (4) Athletics. When this order is followed, it will result in student-athletes who are balanced physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Since Sterling athletes are representatives of their team, their school, their community and more importantly, God, Sterling Athletics is committed to developing each individual’s character as well as proper perspectives on winning and losing which are consistent with the will of God. We will be modest in victory and gracious in defeat. Winning should be one of our goals, but losing can many times present positive learning opportunities.

To this end, Sterling strives for excellence – programs that are well-managed and well-executed with a focus on discipleship – and success – reaching maximum potential both individually and as a team – in all athletic endeavors.

Athletics is a gift for us to enjoy. We must not only acknowledge and thank God for the gift; we must also glorify Him through it. In the athletic arena we ultimately seek to impact what matters most to our Savior… all people who He came to save. As a Christian community of believers, we are also called to bring our best effort and seek excellence that focuses on "process" and not "accomplishments". It is through "process" that some of life’s most important lessons are learned. Through their experiences with athletics at Sterling Classical School we hope students not only have fun, but learn more about themselves as followers of God and are "equipped to transform their world for Christ". Please assist us in promoting a Christian perspective in sports today.

Participation in the athletic program at Sterling Classical School is a privilege that is earned, not a right. Therefore, student athletes are held to a higher standard of behavior than the student who does not participate in such activities. Every student-athlete is expected to uphold the school’s mission statement and help foster the school’s goals and purposes.

The standards athletes are held to also extends to parents. Parents, as well as coaches and athletes, represent the school to the community. The parent is expected to display Christian sportsmanship that reflects positively on the Sterling community. It is important that respect for opponents and officials be shown at all times. The parent is expected to encourage loyalty and dedication to the team and to the coach as well. Attitudes of parents have great impact on the attitudes of athletes. Coaching and parenting can be difficult, but in spite of the challenges we all want the athletic experience to be positive and educational for each student to the greatest extent possible. It is our desire to make this a team effort that benefits the student, family, and community. We encourage all parents to volunteer in some way and actively pray for athletes, coaches, and the team.

Parents and Athletes should expect communication on the following from their coach:

  • Expectations including rules and policies.
  • Schedule of team events.
  • Philosophy of the coach.

Coaches should expect communication on the following from parents and athletes:

  • Concerns that are brought directly to the coach.
  • Notification of any schedule conflicts well in advance.
  • Specific issues regarding the philosophy and expectations of the coach.

If concerns arise during the season, please follow these Matthew 18 guidelines:

  • The athlete should first talk to the coach.
  • If not resolved, the parent should contact the coach to discuss the situation. The coach may have additional information from practice and from other contact with the student and the parent may have information about their child unknown by the coach. This discussion should be beneficial to both parents and the coach, keeping the welfare of both the student and team in mind. Please refrain from approaching a coach directly before or after a game. Call the next day and set up a time to talk or meet personally.
  • If the conflict is not resolved, you may call the Athletic Director to discuss your concerns.

Items not to discuss with the coach:

  • Playing time.
  • Strategy or play calling.
  • Other student-athletes.

Items appropriate to discuss with the coach:

  • The treatment of your child.
  • Ways to help your child improve.
  • Concerns about your child.

Coaches and parents all want the athletic experience to be positive and educational for each student to the greatest extent possible. Prayers for athletes, coaches, and teams are important and appreciated.

Sterling Classical School Eligibility Policies

Because participation in extra-curricular activities is viewed as a privilege, participants are required to meet the standard for eligibility in academic and behavioral regulations. Students who are behaviorally ineligible may practice but not participate in competitions during the ineligibility period, but academically ineligible students may not participate in team practices or competitions.

Academic Eligibility

It is the responsibility of the student to maintain ownership of their assignments and grades. Academic eligibility is determined each Monday morning beginning the 4th week of each semester. All students must be passing all classes or will be declared ineligible for 1 complete week (until the next eligibility check). The ineligibly list will be published for teachers and coaches of ineligible students. Academically ineligible students are not permitted to participate in practices, competitions, or performances until they are declared eligible on the next grade check. The Dean of Students/Faculty will notify each student and parent involved, but it is the responsibility of the coach to make sure the ineligible student does not participate in practices, competitions, or performances for the ineligibility period. Participation during this time will result in forfeiture and an extension of the ineligibility period.

Behavior Eligibility

Like academic eligibility, behavior eligibility is based on a higher standard of behavior for extra-curricular participants and includes behavior both on and off-campus. The following is taken directly from the Sterling Classical School student code of conduct and applies to all students in all extra-curricular activities, including athletics:

  • If a student is sent to the office for behavior issues, the student will be ineligible to participate for two weeks (from the date of the offense) of competition. Participation in practices will still be required.
  • Upon the third visit to the office, the student becomes ineligible for all extra-curricular activities for the remainder of the school year.
  • If a student participates in behavior that makes the student a poor representative of Sterling Classical School (vandalism, pranks, conviction for any legal problem, etc.), the student becomes ineligible for all extra-curricular activities for a length of time determined by the Dean of Students & Staff.
  • If a student is determined to be in possession of or using drugs, including tobacco and alcohol, at any time (before, during, or after school; during vacations and summer break, etc.) and in any place (public places, private homes, cars, etc.), the student becomes ineligible for all extra-curricular activities for 365 days until the following are served:

First Offense: The student is immediately ineligible for ½ of the current or next regular season schedule.

Second Offense: The student is immediately ineligible for 365 days.

  • Failure to live up to the expectations set forth by school administration in the student handbook may be cause for suspension of athletic activities.
  • Penalties that are unable to be completed during the current season or school year will carry over to the next season or school year.
  • This code is not intended to infringe upon the authority of the home. Specific occasions may occur where the literal letter of the law is violated but the spirit of it is not. Such an instance would be when the student is under the direct supervision of his or her parents at a family party, wedding, or other special occasion. Such instances would be subject to review by the administration to determine whether or not they would be considered violations of the code.
  • Extra-curricular participants, who use or are in possession of drugs, including tobacco and alcohol at school or school related events will be subject to the penalties for all students as well as the additional penalties reserved for extra-curricular participants.
  • Students who are behaviorally ineligible may practice but not participate in public events or games on the playing court or field. The student may wear "street clothes".
  • Coaches will review the complete eligibility code with students prior to the first rehearsal, practice, or meeting of a given extra-curricular activity. Students formally agree to the behavioral eligibility policies annually on their physical participation form.
  • As always, parents may appeal the decision of the administrator to the executive committee of the board by contacting the board president.
ACAA Eligibility

As a member school of the ACAA, Sterling Classical School student-athletes in 5th-8th grades must adhere to all ACAA eligibility guidelines including:

  • Athletes may not be older than 15 as of January 1st of the current school year to participate in the Junior High Division or 13 as of January 1st of the current school year to participate in the Elementary Division. A student will only be granted 2 years of eligibility in each division. *Appeals may be made and granted on a case by case basis in order to field a team.
  • Students that are home-schooled must play with the same school for a full calendar year unless that school cannot field a team in a certain sport. An official declaration to the league must be made in order for home school students to participate on a non-home school team.
  • Students shall not participate on another team of the same sport during the same season (some exceptions for individual sports).
T*CAL Eligibility

According to T*CAL standards, students are eligible to represent their school in extracurricular activities if they:

  • have not graduated from high school,
  • are full or part-time, day students in the school, and have been in regular attendance at the school for 7 or more calendar days before the contest or competition,
  • initially enrolled in the 9th grade not more than 4 years ago nor in the 10th grade not more than 3 years ago,
  • were not recruited, follow all "Transfer Rule" procedures and
  • meet the specific eligibility requirements for academic and/or athletic competition.
  • meet all the requirements above,
  • are less than 19 years old on September 1 preceding the contest or have been granted eligibility based on a disability that delayed their education by at least one year,
  • live with their parents (See by-laws or ask your school administrator for exceptions),
  • have not moved or changed schools for athletic purposes (See Transfer Rule),
  • have not violated the athletic amateur rule and attained "professional" status, and
  • were eligible according to the seven day rule prior to district certification.

Students shall not receive money or other valuable considerations for participating in ACAA or T-CAL sponsored sports. Students may accept, for participation in ACAA or T-CAL sponsored sports, a symbolic or merchandise award which does not have a value over $25.00.


The athlete is expected to attend every practice and contest, and to give their full effort both in practice and competition. The athlete, the athlete’s family, and the coach must resolve any exceptions to attendance at practices and contests prior to the absence. A suspended student is always ineligible for the duration of the suspension. Each player is expected to adhere to all rules and expectations as outlined by their coach. These expectations are articulated to students prior to the start of the season.


Athletes may not participate in a practice, game, or any athletic activity on a school day in which they were unexcused from school for one or more classes and were considered absent. Skipping one or more classes without permission is considered an unexcused absence.

Scheduling Conflict Policy

In scheduling athletic events and other school activities, every attempt will be made to avoid conflicts. Scheduling conflicts, however, will occur from time to time. In the event of such a conflict, the coaches affected will meet to determine what is best for both the school and the individual student. The student will be informed of the decision in advance. If the coaches are unable to reach an agreement, the Dean of Students & Staff and the Athletic Director will make the decision.

Quitting a Sport

If a student must drop out of a sport, during the season, it must be done in the proper way. The reason for dropping must be made known to the coach personally and all equipment must be turned in. If the sport is dropped after the first game in that season, the student may not participate in another sport for 365 days unless he or she obtains a written release from the coach of the sport he or she dropped.


Participants of each sport will receive a medal at the year-end Sports Banquet. Individual acknowledgements may be made at that time as well.

Uniforms & Equipment

Every effort will be made to keep the cost of uniforms down. Uniforms purchased can be re-used the following year or sold after team pictures have been taken for the current year.

Sport-specific equipment will be provided for each sport. However, students are encouraged to have equipment for home practice as well.

Athletic Training

Coaches may perform normal first aid procedures, but more serious injuries must be attended to by a doctor. As always, parents are the primarily responsible for the medical treatment of their child and will be communicated to as such.

Any athlete who sees a physician for an injury sustained while participating in a sport or activity at Sterling Classical School must present a signed physician release form to the athletic trainer before participation can resume. Specifically for concussions, if a player sustains any signs or symptoms of concussion, he/she must be pulled from play. Only a physician may clear the athlete to return to play.

Athletes are expected to maintain proper care of their body including adequate sleep and proper diet. Athletes must be careful to individually take in a balanced amount of nutritional calories and fluids to replace what was used during practice or competition. Healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits & vegetables, and healthy sources of protein and fat are a better way of doing this compared with processed foods high in sugar. Water and sports drinks can help replace fluid and electrolyte loss as opposed to high energy drinks that are not recommended. A properly hydrated athlete may need up to 100 ounces of fluid intake per day.

Sportsmanship / Hazing Policy

In its commitment to building character for life, Sterling Classical School stresses the values of fair competition and good sportsmanship. We expect all of our student athletes to follow all the rules of fair play, to respect the decisions of all judges/officials and to treat their opponents with appropriate Christian regard. These guidelines will be followed at all school sponsored events, at home or away. Cheers and signs are to be positive and respectful, fans should be considerate and courteous, noisemakers of any kind are not allowed, and the throwing of objects is not allowed. No behavior will be tolerated that is immoral, disrespectful or vulgar in nature from anyone in attendance at a Sterling Classical School function.

Administration and event management will determine if these guidelines are being followed. Failure to adhere to behavior expectations may result in a warning, an ejection from that contest, and/or a suspension of privileges to attend school activities for a specified period of time. Disciplinary action will be determined based on prior occurrences and/or the severity of the offense.

Steroid / Supplement Policy

Sterling Classical School recognizes that the use of androgenic/anabolic steroids presents a serious health and safety hazard. Students participating in athletics at Sterling Classical School are prohibited from possessing or using androgenic/anabolic steroids not prescribed by a physician.

A student who is found to have violated this agreement shall be restricted from participating in athletics and may be subject to disciplinary procedures including, but not limited to, suspension or expulsion in accordance with law, board policy, and administrative regulation.

Sunday Play Policy

There will not be any competition or practice on Sundays for any Sterling Classical School Sports. This includes practice plans, mental workouts, stretching, warming up, etc. If Sterling Classical School is hosting an ACAA tournament, no facilities will be used for hosting the tournament on Sunday.


All athletes must use school organized transportation when it is provided to travel to events.

This includes parent drivers, coach drivers, and bus transportation. For events that the school organized transportation to, the school will also provide transportation home if needed. Students can be released to another teammate’s parent to provide transportation home and are always permitted to travel home with their own parents. Students are required to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the values of Sterling Classical School.

A. Lightning
  • Outdoor activities will be suspended with athletes sent indoors until the lightning subsides.

Practice or a contest may resume after the officials or coach issues an all clear to play.

B. Tornado Watch
  • If before a contest, events will be canceled unless there is an all clear two hours before the scheduled start time.
  • If during a contest, events will be suspended and athletes will be released to leave with parents.
C. Tornado Warning
  • Suspend the contest or practice at the sound of the warning siren. Take cover in the nearest building on the east and north sides if at an outdoor facility, or in the designated areas in the school if indoors. Practice or a contest may resume following the warning.

Evening events are not automatically cancelled when school is cancelled. Event cancellations are updated on the website as soon as cancelled. Every effort will be made to make up events.

Important Emergency Phone Numbers:

Sterling Classical School --- (512) 259-2722

Athletic Director--- (512) 259-2722, ext. 224

To participate in Soldier Athletics, this SPORTS PHYSICAL FORM must be submitted to the Athletic Department Office prior to your team’s FIRST PRACTICE DATE. Failure to turn this in will result in the athlete being unable to participate until the Physical is on file. In addition, a medical waiver will need to be signed and on file with the Sterling front office.