Sports Sign ups open today

Hello fellow Eagles Fans!

Fall Volleyball is upon us and the first hosted matches are approaching quickly.  The Boosters need your help to ensure these matches run smoothly.  Please sign up to volunteer for a few hours to help us out.  See the link for details.

Thank you for participating!

Open Board Positions

The Athletic Booster Club at ABVM School is looking for volunteers to take an open board position. We are looking for some energetic leaders to fill in as:


Social Media


If you are interested in joining a fun group and have a love of athletics please reach out today to Lisa Piatek at

Follow GRACEAC on Twitter

Looking for current information for GRACEAC?
You  can follow them on Twitter now.


The annual football All Saints Bowl will take place at West Catholic on Saturday, October 27!

7 mistakes many athletes don’t recognize until they get older

Everyone makes mistakes, especially in sports. It’s how athletes respond to those misfires that helps them learn and grow.

Not all failures happen on the field, and sometimes, young athletes – especially those who shine during competition – have a difficult time identifying their flaws until much later in life when it’s too late. offered seven mistakes student-athletes can make but often don’t realize until their playing careers are over.

1. Only doing the minimum: Talent will win the day at the youngest levels, and many good athletes failed to become great because they didn’t work hard all the time at practice. As players get older and the talent evens out, this becomes even more apparent.

2. Taking downs off: Some wide receivers don’t block or finish their routes if the play goes to the other side of the field. Some running backs don’t execute their fakes if they aren’t getting the ball. This can’t happen. Teams find their most success only when all 11 players do their jobs all the time.

3. Focusing on numbers: There’s only one statistic that truly matters – wins. But there are athletes at every level who get caught up in personal numbers, even to the detriment of the team.

4. Trying to control everything: Whether yelling at referees or micromanaging teammates, athletes need to focus on their own play and leave the rest to the coaches.

5. Taking gambles: Whether it’s quarterbacks going for the long bomb over a checkdown, running backs losing yards by bouncing outside, or linebackers missing tackles for the big hit, players who make smart decisions best help their teams and find success comes more often.

6. Too much pride: Players need confidence, but they also must be coachable. When the play calls for someone to zig, they can’t zag, or the whole thing blows up.

7. Lack of commitment: We all need a life outside of football, but once an athlete signs up for the season, they must be all-in for practices and games.

4 ways bad grades can ruin your athletic career

A familiar story is heard in schools across the country – an athlete who had all the talent in the world, but couldn’t do the job in the classroom. Often it’s too late before a high school superstar realizes academic success is just as important as achievements on the field.

While four years fly by, there are always opportunities for athletes to turn their academic struggles around so they don’t decimate their potential as athletes.

1. You won’t be viewed as a leader

Most athletes want their coaches, teammates and community to view them as a leader. Regardless of any on-field heroics, a combined lack of effort and success in the classroom will lead teammates to look elsewhere for leadership.

“Coaches look for their best players to convey their program principles and philosophies, because the best players often have a heavy influence on the team as a whole, especially younger players,” Hammer. said. “The first and foremost (principle and philosophy) will always be academics, because academics are necessary to achieve the goals the coach is trying to push the athlete toward.”

2. Chances of being a team captain are out the door

The honor of being chosen team captain is arguably the highest honor any individual athlete can achieve. If an athlete has proven to not be able to get the job done academically, there’s no way that athlete can be trusted as someone to represent the team in that way.

“Simply put, most teams have academic requirements in order to be a captain,” Hammer said. “If a student-athlete has bad grades, it shows teachers, coaches and administrators they don’t take pride in everything their name is attached to, on the field or off.”

Every single player on a team is expected to represent the program in all aspects. This is especially true of team captains.

“(Keeping up your grades) is an extremely important characteristic in a captain because all coaches want captains, assistant coaches, booster club members and everyone else affiliated with their program to always represent the program in a positive light.”

3. Your accomplishments on the field aren’t as appealing

Any high school athlete’s outstanding, game-winning performance can be overshadowed by that same player’s complete lack of effort and discipline in the classroom.

“If academics aren’t a priority, your career won’t advance to the scholarship NCAA level,” Hammer said.

Hammer goes into further detail about the academic policy that leads NCAA schools to hesitate when recruiting next-level caliber players who don’t possess next-level academic work ethic.

“There’s a sliding scale with core GPA classes like English, math, social studies, science, foreign language, psychology,” Hammer said. “There must be a certain level of this sliding scale (grades) met in order to be able to accept a scholarship. Many schools won’t admit you without certain required grades achieved for this scale.”

When college recruiters come to check out a player, they’ll cross off even the best athletes from their target list if they know they aren’t performing in class at an acceptable standard.

“Schools have to be mindful of their APR, or academic progress rate,” Hammer said. “This is a number that takes into account what classes a student is taking as well as their progress toward their degree and the percent of players that get their degrees.

“If a student is likely to hurt a school’s APR, and they can get a similar student with great academic prowess, the school will opt for the more academic player every time because of the APR rules.”

4. You begin to gain a negative reputation

Even the best athletes can be followed by the stigma of poor performance in the classroom.

“As a student-athlete that’s often in the public eye, you have to realize your character is based on your total body of work, not just how many tackles you had Friday night,” Hammer said.

If athletes take that drive, passion and determination that’s exemplified on the field and apply it to their schoolwork, their reputation will remain pristine.

“If you can learn plays and be responsible to work hard in the weight room in order to do a great job on the field on Friday nights, people expect you to put that same effort and focus into the classroom and everything else you do,” Hammer said. “Your every action is a resume for whatever you want to become. It just isn’t enough to be great on the field. You have to build your resume to become what you want to be.”


by coach Ben Hammer

5 ways to captain your team

Being a team captain is both an honor and privilege. The position carries a weight of responsibility that requires the player be “all in.”

Longtime USA Football U.S. National Team coach Aaron Brady knows what it takes to develop leadership. He believes leaders are born off the field.

Brady lists several traits that define true team leadership, including communication, leading by example and an infectious attitude.


Let’s build on those three necessary traits and look even deeper into five more building blocks on how team captains approach leadership:

1The team captain is the fiercest competitor on the field

Nobody outtrains, outperforms or outdoes the team captains. They are the example to follow. Other players emulate their work ethic.

Is your team captain the fiercest competitor on the team?

2. The team captain possesses the highest mental strength and positive attitude of anyone on the team

Just like players emulate a captain’s work ethic, they’re drawn to and imitate their attitude as well. They don’t allow trash talk or let teammates degrade and criticize each other. They do allow positive encouragement and constructive criticism – the kind that builds up and makes players better.

Does your team captain demonstrate the highest mental strength level on the team?

3. The team captain keeps it 100 – open and honest at all times

Jeff Janssen, owner of Janssen Sports Leadership Center, says, “Your best leaders keep it real. They are honest with coaches and teammates and earn their deep sense of trust. They honor and follow through with their commitments so they are the most responsible and reliable people on the team.”

Is your team captain open, honest, and trustworthy?

4. The three C’s of leadership required for every team captain

As laid out by sports psychologists Larry Lauer and Kevin Blue, a team captain must be:

  • Caring (undeniable passion for the game and well-being of the team)
  • Courageous (willing to step up; becoming a model of courage and dedication)
  • Consistent (giving 100 percent effort in every practice and game)

Does your team captain possess and practice the three C’s?

5. Team captains think and act for the ultimate good of the team

They mentor fellow players, with tips and advice on how to improve their skills and overall game. They teach how to perform as a unit, correct ball hogs, talk up players with less confidence and promote trust between team members.

Does your team captain think and act for the betterment of the whole team?

If you’re a head coach, use these five building blocks to assess your team captains. Do they possess the traits listed?

If you’re a team captain, do you practice the five building blocks within your team?

As a leader, you should always self-evaluate and improve your leadership skills. Stack these building blocks in your life and team to create a strong structure for success.

Michelle Hill, the Strong Copy QB at Winning Proof, helps athletes tell their stories by ghostwriting books. She works exclusively with pro athletes, coaches, team owners, and other sports professionals, to move their book idea from concept to publication, from the Red Zone to the End Zone.

15 life lessons to take away from football

While I had my share of injuries in a decade of playing football, nearly all came during my college years, when the speed and intensity ticked up quite a few notches.

And I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything in the world.

I played football from the time I was 12 years old until I was 22. I earned a full scholarship to play safety at Charleston Southern University, and was fortunate enough to have my education – a bachelor’s degree and the better part of an MBA – paid for because of my physical abilities.

The lessons I learned from football are priceless. They’ve helped me in my post-football career (yes, there’s life after football). I learned how to tackle people and catch a leather ball, but more importantly, how to lead others and the value of practice. I learned life skills that many of my peers are still trying to figure out at 30 years old.

I was given an unfair advantage because of the time I spent playing football. Not only did I have a support group of peers who looked out for me, I was blessed with a number of mentors who cared about me and wanted me to succeed.

The media endlessly talks about the risks of football and the danger of collisions. What’s often overlooked are the benefits that come from the game. The life lessons that young men learn while they play it are priceless.

Here are 15 things football taught me that I use every day:

1. How to compete: There are two types of competition: competition with others, and yourself. Football teaches both. When you face an opponent, you have to study film (research) and think critically about how to beat them (game theory), come up with a game plan (planning), and make that plan come to life (execution).

Individually, you must improve your body to become a better player. If you don’t learn to compete with yourself and improve every day, you’ll be the weakest link in the chain. That in itself is pressure enough to improve.


2. How to be disciplined: From the schemes our coaches drew up, to early-morning workouts, to the focus required to keep my grades above a certain level, I needed discipline for every aspect of the sport. By the time I finished football, I had no choice but to understand discipline and enforce it throughout the rest of my life.

3. How to work (really) hard: 99.9 percent of resumes say “hard-working” somewhere on them. Think about your workplace. Are 99.9 percent of your coworkers hard-working? Probably not. This isn’t to say sports are the only way to learn hard work, but it’s a great start. In football, you can earn a name for yourself by outworking your teammates. It’s an unfair advantage that’s accessible to everyone by changing attitude.

4. How to lead: Leadership is a billion-dollar industry. Managers pay for leadership training, and they pay to learn how to lead themselves. Coaches lead teams, but only to a certain extent. Go to any high school football stadium on a Friday night, and you’ll see more than a few leaders who encourage their teammates when the score isn’t in their favor. Leadership is learned in many ways, and in football, it’s learned early.

5. How to follow: With the apparent lack of respect for others we see in the news, this is extremely important. Before you can lead, you have to know how to follow. Study how other leaders do it, how they inspire others and motivate the people around them, and when to stand up for something and when to let the coach do their job. Leadership is rare, but everyone needs to know how and when to follow.


6. How to be accountable: Individuals don’t win football games. Teams do. To be on a team, you must learn to be accountable to the people around you. We had a “one fail, all fail” policy on one of my teams. If one person was late, the whole defense was punished. In life, if you don’t carry your weight, your whole organization can potentially be punished.

7. How to push others: During fall conditioning, when I was exhausted and wanted to collapse, I figured out how to get through the discomfort. I turned my focus to others and encouraged them. Americans spend billions each year on self-help books, seminars and courses. People search for something or someone to help motivate them. Through sport, we can mold future generations to know how to help each other.

8. The value of practice: Football requires practice. We lift weights, watch film, run sprints and practice until our legs wobble. And because of that practice, we improve. Many people have goals in life but don’t know how to reach them. They search for quick answers on the internet and try to avoid the part where they pay their dues. Football taught me how to put in the time and learn to improve skills incrementally.


9. How to sacrifice: I didn’t have a typical college experience. Many of my mornings started at 4:55 a.m., and I was pouring sweat before regular students rolled out of bed. In high school, I sacrificed extra time with friends and family because I wanted to get to the next level, and that goal required extra workouts. I learned to sacrifice that “normal” experience for something great, a chance to play college football. Just 6.5 percent of high school football players go on to play in collegeand I was one of them. That honor was bestowed on me because I was willing to sacrifice.

10. How to accomplish something bigger: When players showed up for preseason camp in August, we had to leave our egos at home. In order to accomplish something larger than ourselves, we had to submit to the goals of the team. If every player had a different agenda, we would’ve gone all different directions. But when we had one mindset, we accomplished tremendous feats.

11. To control what I can control: Injuries are a part of sports. Football is no exception. Through my injuries, I realized I could handle adversity one of three ways: I could be bitter, I could quit or I could make the best of my situation. I saw some players quit after injuries, most of whom regretted their decision. I saw others carry a negative attitude wherever they went, like a ball and chain slowing them down. And then I saw an upperclassman play his senior year with a broken hand and enjoy every minute of it. He told me, “There’s no use in complaining. It won’t change my situation. All I can do is strap up and play the next play.” That stuck.

12. How to stand for something: By working out, running sprints and watching film, we become committed to our team. We take pride in what the decal on our helmet stands for. We care about the people we sweat with, and we listen to the coaches who lead us. By playing football, we learn what it means to make an unwavering commitment to something.


13. There are no shortcuts: As part of a growing program, we had a new strength coach each year. Each brought his own style and workout preferences. As budgets improved, the school paid more qualified coaches. Each brought better technique and more effective training. One thing remained: If we didn’t hit the weight room and work hard during the offseason, we wouldn’t win games. There are better ways of doing things, but there are no shortcuts.

14. How to finish something you start: I was benched for the first time in my career during my junior year. I was distraught and angry, but didn’t allow myself to be beat by those feelings. I knew being benched was merely an obstacle I had to overcome – no different than an opponent taking the lead in the fourth quarter. I recommitted myself to my passion and started every game as a senior while being elected captain by my peers.

15. How to be selfless: Every player has their own unique talents. Some are blessed with speed, some agility, others with strength. The list goes on. I was a smart player who knew how to play multiple positions. Because of this, I was able to move around when other players were injured. I played three different positions during the course of my career because that’s where my team needed me. Had I chosen to be selfish, I could’ve hurt the team.

Mike McCann played football at Charleston Southern University from 2004-08. He published a book about his time at CSU, the lessons he learned and the incredible true story of the 2005 team. Learn more about it at Believe EG21: Play Like There Is No Tomorrow.” Mike is an author, entrepreneur, football coach and philanthropist who resides in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Irish Slated Fourth In Preseason ACC Poll

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the second straight season Notre Dame has been selected fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball preseason poll, the conference office announced on Friday. The Irish placed two players on the Preseason All-ACC Team in senior Ryann DeJarld and Jemma Yeadon.

The Fighting Irish received 137 points in balloting among the ACC’s 15 head coaches. Pittsburgh topped the poll with 196 points. Louisville (180) was slotted second, with Florida State (171) third and Duke (121) fifth.

DeJarld cemented her status as one of the top liberos in the country in her junior campaign, shattering the program record for digs in a season with 747, which ranked fourth in the nation. The libero finished the 2017 season averaging an astounding 6.12 digs per set. DeJarld has also excelled in the service game, hammering out 41 aces, the second most on the team this season.

DeJarld also set the all-time Notre Dame program record for career digs this season, accumulating 1,808 digs in just three seasons of play. The Chicago native ranks fifth for all active players in Division I in career digs per set with a mark of 5.06.

Yeadon carried much of the load in the attack for the Irish in her sophomore season. The outside hitter averaged a team-high 3.91 kills per set to total 453 in 2017, which rank sixth in program history for kills in a single season. Yeadon also added 315 digs, 70 blocks and 29 aces.

Yeadon was one of Notre Dame’s most consitent hitters all season, posting double-digit kills in 26-of-30 matches she played in during the year. The Mercer Island, Washington, native posted a career-high 27 kills against Syracuse (11/22), the most any Notre Dame student-athlete logged in a match since the 2012 season.

DeJarld, Yeadon and the Irish open the 2018 regular season with the Golden Dome Invitational on August 24 and 25. Notre Dame welcomes Weber State at 7 p.m. on August 24 and then will host Toledo and Northern Kentucky on August 25. All three matches will be played in Purcell Pavilion.

The Irish 2018 schedule features 14 home matches, nine of which are conference matches. Notre Dame is coming off a 2017 season in which the Irish earned their first NCAA Championships berth since the 2012 season this year and finished with a record of 22-10. Notre Dame has now recorded back-to-back 20-plus win seasons for the first time since 2004 and 2005.

Fall Sports Sign up

Registration for the 2018 fall sports season is now underway!  Click here – GRACEAC Registration Form

Practices for volleyball, cross country, boys soccer, and sideline cheer will begin the week of August 13. Practices for football will begin the week of August 20.

Preseason meeting for volleyball and boys soccer coaches & officials will be held on Monday, August 20 in room D/E on the second floor of Cathedral Square. Boys soccer will be at 6:30 pm and volleyball will be at 7:15 pm.

Social Media do’s and don’ts for Athletes | part 3

What Should You Post?

1. Say thank you. This is always a good option. Teach student-athletes to take time to thank those who support them. Fans, teammates and family for example.

2. Support others. Student-athletes can provide a positive example for other students by sending positive messages about their peers in other sports or activities at school.

3. Share news and humor. Social media is meant to be fun. Join in conversations and share things you find interesting or entertaining.

4. Engage in discussion with those you admire. Petroff discussed how prior to social media, it was difficult to interact or even hear from famous people that student-athletes admire. But now, they can follow them on Twitter and learn what they’re talking about and even interact with them.

5. Post anything consistent with your personal brand. Again, how do you want to present yourself in public?

Finally, Petroff ended with a simple message we can all afford to remember sometimes: “Live your life, don’t tweet your life.”

Has your school hosted a social media seminar for your student-athletes? We’d love to hear what advice you think is important to give them. Share your thoughts in the comments below.