A COLUMN BY ERIC X. VICCARO
BLOOMSDALE — St. Agnes Catholic School provides sports to its students through the Christian Athletic Conference, or CAC.
The CAC features several area private schools — Ste. Genevieve-based Valle Catholic, St. Rose of DeSoto, St. Joachim (also of Jefferson County), Good Shepherd of Hillsboro, St. Joseph in Farmington and St. Paul — the last a Lutheran school in Farmington.
The CAC is similar to the Catholic Youth Council sports program, but it doesn’t have any affiliation with the Archdiocese of St. Louis. There’s also a CAC group called Catholic Athletes For Christ. But, that’s not them, either.
St. Agnes played both soccer and volleyball this fall, with plenty of success to go around for both sports.
Sarah Wolk, CAC soccer coordinator, gave the Ste. Genevieve sports editor an eye-popping statistic.
“Seventy-nine of the 98 students at St. Agnes play on one of the soccer teams,” Wolk said.
Wolk’s sons, Eli and Emmett Wolk, both play for the Crusaders.
In soccer, the “A” team is for sixth through eighth graders, with the B team for fourth and fifth graders, C2 for second and third graders and C1 for kindergarten and first graders.
All of the soccer teams are co-ed, meaning both boys and girls play on the same squad.
The St. Agnes “A” soccer team went undefeated and first in the league tournament, which took place at Engler Park in Farmington. The C2 team also took top honors.
The C1 group was third overall in the league, and the B squad placed fourth.
“Soccer has been a great sport for us,” Wolk said. “We have good athletes at St. Agnes. It gets them ready for everything else they will play in high school.”
St. Agnes also offers boys’ and girls’ basketball from fifth through eighth grade and the Run For Life Club — which is primarily a spring activity.
Wolk said she’s happy to be a part of the program, and this is her fourth year serving as a coach.
The soccer slate consists of six regular-season games and the post-season tournament.
Wolk said because of the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the tournament was reduced to a single game featuring the top two teams at Engler Park.
“(Youth) Soccer is growing in the area, with select teams in DeSoto and Farmington,” Wolk said. “We are fortunate to have a spot to go to, and play.”
Engler Park has a slew of fields dedicated to soccer, and each one of them has its own dedicated scoreboard complete with timer.
As for volleyball, there are two teams. A is for seventh- and eighth-grade girls, and B for fifth and sixth graders.
The Crusader B team went undefeated during the regular season consisting of 12 matches — plus the postseason tournament. The A team was second in the season and tournament, behind winner Valle Catholic.
“Usually, we are competitive and we are fortunate to have some athletic kids,” said CAC volleyball coordinator Karyn Bauman, who helps coach her seventh-grade daughter, Ava.
Bauman said the pandemic forced the Crusaders to juggle their schedule; but, they played a complete season. Girls wore masks, and they respected social distancing guidelines.
St. Agnes serves as a feeder program for other schools. The volleyball girls will go on to either Ste. Genevieve, Valle Catholic or some go north to St. Pius X in Festus.
Keagon Klahs, the son of St. Agnes principal and third grade teacher Debra Klahs, was the starting goalie for St. Pius this past fall. The Lancers won seven matches this past season, according to information gleaned from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Congratulations on a successful fall season, St. Agnes.