By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
A new series of opportunities for student athletes have opened up for the Elmore Stoutt High School, since becoming a member of the St. Thomas-St. John Interscholastic Athletic Association (IAA) League, on December 19, 2014. So far, the Jr. Varsity Baseball team, Varsity and Jr. Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball teams have been in competition.
Athletic director Derwin Scatliffe stated that now that student athletes have something to shoot for and aspire to do, they are putting in the work and there have been lots of positive developments in the two months they have been in the league.
“They are putting in the work in the classroom,” Scatliffe noted. “They are putting in the work on campus not loitering and it has made a drastic change for our student athletes. It’s a good endeavor and I really appreciate the IAA for accepting us into the league.”
Scatliffe said getting into the league has been very, very good, the kids have taken to it and they are aspiring to do what they have to do now. He explained that student athletes must have a certain GPA in order to play, they can’t get suspended nor be loitering on campus or have any bad reports from teachers.
“It has really made a difference in the way they look at life,” Scatliffe pointed out. “I have kids that used to have a 1.2 or 1.0 GPA and amazingly now as the teachers say, they have a 3.6 and they wonder why this kid couldn’t do his work before. I have kids that every time you looked around, they had their shirt out their pants, they were getting in trouble for something and now they are actually sitting down and wrapping with the teachers. Teachers are actually seeing a great change in them and are now willing to help them to do what they are supposed to do and keep them on the right track.”
Scatliffe noted that they have always had boys and girls basketball teams but the problem was they never had competition or opportunities to play. There is no organized league among the territory’s six high schools catering to sports, nor an association governing the conduct of school sports, hence the reason for joining the IAA League.
“St. Thomas has a number of big schools and it gives us an avenue for us to compete against other schools that are of the same size or similar,” he explained. “The boys and girls basketball teams made their first entrance in the Dr. Martin Luther King Tournament. On January 30, was the first IAA League game for both boys and girls varsity.”
For the varsity girls, fitness has been is issue Scatliffe noted as many of them are seniors and preparing for graduation and they don’t have the necessary time to work out. “The JV girls are going to be very, very good and they are impressive in that they were leading Charlotte Amalie at half time in their first game but only six girls were able to make the trip,” Scatliffe pointed out. “One or two were playing on the baseball team who happened to be playing championships vs Charlotte Amalie’s JV team on that same weekend and lost 6-3. So, a lot of things have been happening and a lot has been going on in the school so it has been good.”
Elmore Stoutt High will also field teams in Softball, Volleyball, Soccer and Track and Field.