By Megan Kelley
Athletic Director for Lake Orion Community Schools, Chris Bell, joined the district’s Board of Education during their Nov. 10 meeting to provide some updates on the athletic program in LOCS.
According to Bell, the district has over 2,000 students registered to participate in both middle and high school sports throughout the year with 105 different athletic teams and 200 plus coaches.
In the fall, the varsity programs had several accomplishments including the boys cross country team, who were OAA Red Champions, Oakland County Champions and placed 9th at the state meet; the girls volleyball team, who were OAA Red Champions and MHSAA District Champions; the girls swim and dive team which had seven athletes qualify for the state meet; the mountain biking team had two individual champions; the boys tennis team was named an Academic All-State Team and coach of the tennis team, Eric Bracciano, was recognized by his State Coach’s Association as Tennis Coach of the Year.
Bell noted that the district tracks academic achievement of student athletes.
“We track academic performance for weekly eligibility, for eligibility per-season,” Bell said. “Our student athletes are motivated and it shows this fall – among our sophomores, juniors and seniors, 86 percent of our students who participated this fall had a gpa of 3.0 or higher.”
Some new aspects to look for in the future include online ticketing. Currently, LOCS offers both electronic and traditional cash sales and will do so throughout the remainder of the school year. However, the district intends to reevaluate and potentially move to all electronic starting in 2022-23.
Last year, the district acquired two free Pixolette Cameras from Pixolette and the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) Network which were installed in the field house and on the soccer field. The cameras now allow the district to livestream events and games played at both locations. Streaming locations include the NFHS Network and the LOHS TPW (Television Production Workshop) website.
In addition to his role as Athletic Director at LOCS, Bell is also currently serving as the OAA President and as Chair of the Football Committee and Swim and Dive Committee. He also serves on the MHSAA Football and Bowling Committees.
Bell informed the board that the OAA is looking to expand their footprint by bringing Harper Woods into the league for the winter season and extending invites to other districts.
“It gives more scheduling opportunities. That’s one of the reasons we’re looking to expand,” Bell said.
The OAA is also implementing an All-Sports Trophy into the mix which will be a traveling trophy that goes to the school with the most “points”. Points will be awarded based on where each varsity sport team finished in the OAA rankings. Winning school keeps the trophy for the year.
“Every game matters. That’s the motto behind it. It doesn’t matter if you’re not going to win the championship, it doesn’t matter. If you have a league game, every game matters,” said Bell. “It’s boys, girls varsity sports combined so it’s a way to generate some comradery and have a lot of fun within the league.”
Bell also thanked parents for their dedication and support across the board every season.
Bell wrapped up his presentation by touching on the athletic department’s core values and priorities which include: extension of the classroom, health and safety of student-athletes and putting forth a championship effort from both coaches and athletes.
LOCS winter sports are currently underway.