The Magic of Middle School Sports


How is success measured in Middle School sports?

Our Admissions team recently asked me to write a blurb on the focus of our Middle School athletics program, as well as a summary of how OES Middle School teams fared in competition this fall.  

I thought hard and long about how each of our Middle School teams competed this fall season.  Does the win-loss record define a Middle School athlete, or is it the experiences and the personal growth that defines our program? I decided that the successes I witnessed were not in the win-loss column; they were in the pure magic that defines Middle School sports.  

We had an exceptional turnout of Middle Schoolers for fall sports as we eased our way out of COVID restrictions. Of our 205 Middle School students, 138 participated in a fall sport, or 67 percent. That’s nearly three-fourths of our Middle School involved in athletics!  

Students were back on the field and courts in the fall of 2021 after a year away from competing, wearing the pride of  OES on their chest.  These 138 student-athletes made up two sixth grade and two seventh/eighth grade volleyball teams, four soccer teams (three boy teams and one girl squad), a cross country team, a tennis team, and a fencing program. Seeing this amazing turnout and witnessing many kids trying a new sport for the very first time brings me so much joy and satisfaction in what we are offering our students.  

Our kids found success in the Metro Christian League, winning plenty of games, but as importantly, they also experienced failures. They found failures in missing their bus and having to call a parent for a ride to the game, bringing the wrong jersey to an away match, and losing heartbreaking games that abruptly ended seasons. 

These experiences are all part of the learning and growing of what it is to be an athlete and to be part of something bigger than themselves. Middle Schoolers started to realize how special it is to be on a team and they began to appreciate how much their coaches and teammates meant to them and cared. These are the moments in which I see the real success and the magic happen in OES sports. We learn from our mistakes and our misses, and we find ways that don’t let the wins or the losses define us. 

I think that [Athletic Director] Dennis [Sullivan] said it best to me this week:  “We learn more from watching others hold the trophy than we ever learn from holding the trophy ourselves.”

Aardvark Sports Corner Highlights

Girls’ Varsity Soccer plays in the State Championship Game on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Liberty High School versus cross town rivals and #2 ranked Catlin Gabel.  The girls’ earned this berth after taking down #16 Echo/Stanfield 7-0. Then they eliminated the #8 Riverside Pirates 4-0 and then they shut out #4 Dayton 6-0. Please come out and support the Varks!  You must have digital tickets to attend the state finals; no cash or cards will be accepted at the door.  Here is the link to purchase your tickets.

Girls Soccer in the State Playoffs

Girls' preparing for the state semifinals vs. Dayton. (Photo courtesy of Maddie Evans). 


Boys’ Varsity Soccer lost a heartbreaker at #1 ranked Catlin on Tuesday 2-3 to end their run at a state title. The boy made it to the semifinals after beating #12 Nyssa 8-0, and #4 Brookings Harbor on the road 4-1. Congratulations on a great season to the boys.

Boys' soccer on the road to defeat Brookings Harbor

Boys soccer on the road to defeat Brookings Harbor. (Photo courtesy of Eric Kristich.)


The cross country boys' team finished fourth in the 3A state race bringing home some hardware behind the strong podium finishes of Olin G. '23 (third overall in 3A) and Tyler E. '22 (10th in 3A).

The cross country girls' team finished eighth in 3A state and will bring back a strong nucleus of runners next year. 


2021 All League and District Awards by team

Girls' Soccer 

First Team All League

  • Nadia S. '22
  • Zoe B. '24
  • Annie H. '22
  • Cameron G. '24 - Goal Keeper

Player of the Year

  • Olivia F. '22

Second Team All League

  • Mia R. '25 
  • Malia P. '22 

Honorable Mention

  • Ellie R. '22 
  • Summer W. '25
  • Isabela D. '25 
  • Etti T-A. '22  

Boys' soccer 

First Team All League

  • Connor M. '22 
  • Patrick R. '22
  • Jonathan S. '22

Second Team All League

  • Alex C. '23
  • Braeden C. '23
  • Alex C. '22 - Goal Keeper

Girls' Volleyball

First Team All League

  • Cayton S. '23 

Player of the Year

  • Cayton S. '23

Second Team All League

  • Maeve L. '23

Honorable Mention

  • Kaleia T. '23

Coach Of The Year 

  • Nikole Weir 

Cross Country

First Team All District

  • Olin G. '23

Second Team All District

  • Tyler E. '22

Third Team All District 

  • Morgan M. '24 

Honorable Mention

  • Kole P. '22