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January 2024 - Leo Lopoz, VP for Athletics

January 2024 - Leo Lopoz, VP for Athletics

Hello Spartan Nation!  

Happy New Year, and welcome back to Winton Drive! What a school year it has been for Spartan Athletics!  As January comes to a close, more than 400 student-athletes have participated in fall and winter sports programs, and they have realized a number of incredible achievements as individuals and, more importantly, as teams.  As the calendar turns to February, our spring sports begin in earnest. With 18 teams competing this season, it makes for a busy few months, it is all worth it, as I know they will all have Spartan experiences that will stay with them for years to come.  

In particular, I’d like to take a moment to recognize some of our fall accomplishments as well as highlight some of the events that took place during the holiday season - all of which continue to make our athletic program stand out as one of the best in the nation. 

  • Our fall sports (cross country, football, and water polo) resulted in one league championship, a North Coast Section championship, a NorCal championship, and a second-place finish at the state. Congratulations to our fall student-athletes and coaches on their success! 
  • All of our fall teams finished with a 3.o or higher team GPA.
  • 14 fall student-athletes earned a 3.8 or above unweighted GPA and made the NCS Presidents List.   
  • We had great turnouts at a number of our alumni affinity events in December, including basketball, rugby, and wrestling. It is always heartwarming to reconnect with alumni over the holidays and see them interact with our current Spartans. Our basketball and soccer teams both traveled to Southern California after Christmas to play against some of the best teams in the state. In a show of Brotherhood support, the soccer team even attended the basketball game in Laverne. Afterward, both teams had dinner together. 
  • The basketball team was also blessed to play in the Coastal Catholic Classic. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity had our students playing in the Crypto Arena (home of the Lakers). 
  • We hosted our 26th Annual MLK Classic. The basketball event symbolizes what we as a Catholic community stand for – community, respect, and love. It is considered one of the best single-day events in California.    

All that said, at the end of the day, everything at De La Salle comes back to our students. That is why we recently asked members of our sports advisory committee (a group of appointed leaders for every sport) some questions to ensure that we continue to provide the best possible programs for our student-athletes. Some of the words they used to describe their athletic experiences were “enjoyment,” “love of competition,” “health and wellness,” and being part of a “community and Brotherhood.” This signifies that we are on the right path, and our current and future Spartans are positively experiencing their athletic journey in the same way as the Spartans that came before them. It is a legacy that we should be proud of.

As we look to the year ahead, I want to remind our community of three of the pillars that drive our Athletics program. 

  1. We operate as an educational athletic program, centered on providing a Lasallian-based co-curricular experience.  
  2. We demonstrate gratitude and respect for those who have chosen to dedicate themselves to working with our student-athletes. We are blessed to have phenomenal coaches who are teachers first and foremost, and coaches second.    
  3. We encourage high levels of integrity and class when our Spartans compete. We ask that respect be given to all involved in athletic contests – student-athletes, players, spectators, and officials.  

I want to finish by saying that the success of the entire athletic program is only possible through support from alumni, fans, friends, families, faculty, and staff. We are grateful for your dedication in supporting our young men on and off the playing field, and in helping them become Men of Faith, Integrity, and Scholarship. At the same time, I want to personally thank the many volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help meet the needs of our student-athletes and coaches. From game operations to team dinners to special events, the call is always answered by someone in our community. Our volunteers are essential to supporting and representing the De La Salle community countless times each year! 

Continue to follow us in person and online as we begin the home stretch for the winter season and strive to achieve the goals that we set for our teams! On February 7th, spring sports will begin, and hundreds of students will start the next season.  

Live Jesus in our hearts forever,

Mr. Leo Lopoz
Vice President for Athletics 


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