Our physical education curriculum provides as an effective foundation for our interscholastic athletic program. As members of the Pacific Basin League, students from The Willows have the opportunity to compete against other Los Angeles schools. Beginning in fourth grade, students are encouraged to participate in after-school sports regardless of previous experience or expertise. Sports teams currently include flag football, soccer, basketball, baseball, girl’s softball, volleyball, track and field, co-ed tennis, and co-ed golf. Many of these teams were formed in direct response to specific student interest.
Our “everyone plays” philosophy for Lower and Middle School physical education classes also applies to after-school sports. In the fourth and fifth grades, in particular, we emphasize participation and the fundamental skills of each sport. Our goal is to promote cooperation, team spirit, fun, and good sportsmanship.
By sixth grade, interscholastic athletics becomes more competitive, and there are records, playoffs, and championship titles. While the amount of playing time for each team member is not equal, we continue to subscribe to the “everyone plays” philosophy, making sure that each team member plays in every game.
This past season, 82% of our middle school students participated in a team sport, and 90% of our fourth and fifth graders played a sport. Due to this consistently high rate of involvement in the athletics program, we offer an A and B team in most sports to accommodate all player sin grades sixth through eighth. Overall, we offer nine different sports, with 28 teams, and during the busiest season 101 games are scheduled, not including playoffs.
While winning is not the primary goal of our athletics program, The Willows has won 23 league championships since 2001 and 20 league Sportsmanship Awards. In 2012-13, The Willows Middle School Boys A Basketball Team and the Tennis Team won the League Championships.
Our interscholastic athletics program is strong and thriving. Emphasis is placed on participation, learning, and having fun, regardless of ability level. The goal is that each student develops or improves their individual skill base and experiences feelings of success and achievement, and that together our students and coaches experience the joy of working effectively as a team.