Gross Catholic High School is a fantastic choice. There is no question that it requires financial sacrifice to send a child to a Catholic school. However, we at Gross Catholic believe there are many reasons a Catholic education—and specifically a Gross Catholic education—is the right choice.
Will, a junior at Gross, has his own reason for believing that Gross Catholic was the right option for him.
Will had debated long and hard about whether to attend Gross or his local public high school. Ultimately, he began his high school career in a public setting because a few more of his friends had decided to attend public.
During his first semester of his freshman year, Will became discouraged because, due to the large number of students and stiff competition, it was hard to find a place on the athletic teams. He felt he was being forced to choose a single sport before he even got a chance to experience all three seasons. He also realized that he wasn’t having the social experience he had hoped for in high school.
Will decided to make a change. At the semester, he chose to transfer to Gross Catholic.
During his first eligible sports season, Will loved being part of the baseball team. He remembers the crazy comradery of his team mates and the positive influence of his coach, Father Steve Emanuel; he knew this close feeling of belonging was something he had been missing at the other school. The family spirit at Gross Catholic was amazing.
After having such a positive experience playing baseball, Will decided he wanted to try football again as a junior. There was only one problem: It was August, and he hadn’t played as a sophomore or participated in the summer pre-season conditioning program. He decided to call Tim Johnk, the head football coach. Coach Johnk told Will to meet him on Friday, and they would talk.
When Will showed up for his meeting with Coach Johnk, there was an orange and blue jersey waiting for him—with his name on it! Will’s jaw dropped. He wasn’t expecting anything like this! When Will explained to Coach that he was worried that he missed the pre-season preparation, Coach Johnk told him that “there is nothing you can do to change the past; all you can do is your best moving forward.” From that point on, Will felt part of the team. One more experience that confirmed choosing Gross Catholic was the right decision.
Will notes that becoming involved in football led to other connections such as making friends from other grade levels and attending team dinners. There is a kinship at school that he feels with everyone that extends into other areas, not just sports.
Will is so glad that, even though he came in late, the school community, and especially Coach Johnk, made him feel welcomed. Will’s mom, herself a graduate of Gross Catholic, commented that “this experience—this open door, open arms experience—just would not have happened in another school. From the minute you walk through the doors of Gross Catholic, you feel welcomed into the family, and then students continue to feel welcomed into smaller groups like athletic teams, spirit squads, academic clubs, performance groups, or whatever they want to be a part of.”
Will’s story is just one example of a student and family who have been happy that they made a decision to be part of our Cougar Family. It is just one more reason that we encourage you to…
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