The Heights seeks to assist parents in the intellectual, moral, spiritual, and physical formation of their sons. The aim of this partnership is, simply put, the formation of men fully alive, which St. Irenaeus tells us, is “the glory of God.” This mission remains the same, even if circumstances lead the school to materialize it in more creative ways this fall.
More than ever, the importance of developing good habits of physical fitness and conditioning is apparent. The pandemic and the need for greater precautions have nudged many children—and adults—to decrease their level of physical activity. During the shutdown, it was perhaps easier for the home to become an arcade or movie theater than for it to be converted into a gymnasium.
But a nudge does not negate one’s freedom. While CDC guidelines may place certain restrictions on athletic opportunities, rules and regulations are nothing new for athletics. What is a game without some rules? New rules mean new games, not no games. This fall our athletic department has developed programs for the boys, such that they can continue their physical formation in the current circumstances.
In the lower school, the boys are continuing to enjoy the outdoors not only for class, but also for recess and physical education. Although tackle football in the Valley is taking a backseat this fall, that other football—futbol—is growing in popularity. The outdoors is the perfect place for both reading and running.
While competition against other local schools has been hard to come by, the middle and upper school boys nevertheless continue to sharpen their skills on the soccer pitch and shave off time on the cross-country course. The athletic department has organized intramural soccer for the middle school boys, and in the upper school, the soccer team is playing an independent season. Most recently, varsity soccer has played against two teams–one a high school just west of the DMV, one a local club team. Cross country is also off to a strong start. The middle school boys have competed in one race thus far while the upper school team has won the first two races of its four-meet season. The athletic department remains optimistic about playing WCAC soccer and cross-country seasons later in the year.
As Athletic Director Dan Lively, explained in his back-to-school night video presentation, the goal of our physical education program is to help the boys develop “a lifelong habit of daily physical exercise,” such that, even when they are seventy-five-year-old men, they may have mens sana in corpore sana, “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” They will then be men fully alive, having minds with which they know, hearts with which they love, and bodies with which they glorify God.