HPS Sixth Graders to Tryout for Sports!

HPS Sixth Graders to Tryout for Sports!
Posted on 09/11/2016



Two middle schools at HPS anxious to begin sixth grade sports!

(Left photo: Grandview Middle (Back Row, L-R): Aaron Joplin, Coach Samantha Pittelko, Coach Todd Teague, Front/sixth grade student representatives (L-R): Kayla Scott, Niquezion Shuford, Isabella Niglio, HayDen Crunkleton, Lena Le, Tamarrion Jones, Kamden Helton; Top right photo—Northview Middle: (Back row, L-R)--Coach Mike Mackie, Stephanie Dischiavi, Coach Cathy Hitchcock; Front/sixth grade student representatives (L-R): Aydan Carroll, Melvin Dula, Jonellis Heredia, Henry Nichols, Virginia Crooks, Shaylyn Finger.


HPS Sixth Graders to Tryout for School Sports

Across North Carolina, there’s been a big change in middle school sports. And for Hickory Public Schools, the change brings overwhelming excitement from administrators, coaches, families and students. Starting January, 2017, middle school sports at Hickory Public Schools will include sixth grade students.

“Just before the start of school, the State Board of Education voted to allow sixth grade students to participate in school athletics, with the exception of football,” said Dr. Robbie Adell, HPS superintendent.  

“Due to the timing of the decision last August, the fall season was already moving forward,” said Adell. “However, sixth grade students may tryout for the spring sports at their respective schools. The students are expressing an eager desire to participate.”

The decision to exclude football was a state decision based on the average growth of a sixth grade student, according to Adell. “The game includes extreme contact and is better suited once the student has acquired some size,” he said.

Seasonal middle school sports include softball, baseball, basketball, soccer, cross country, volleyball, wrestling, and cheerleading.

Northview Middle School Principal, Stephanie Dischiavi, shared the Northview sixth graders anticipate participating in middle school sports. “The athletics are a vital component of the middle school experience,” said Dischiavi. “Traditionally, we have found our athletic events to be well attended by sixth grade students who are eager to experience the camaraderie and school spirit generated by sporting events. 

“We consistently witness the academic, social and emotional growth demonstrated by our student athletes credited in part to the self-discipline, time management, team work and persistence exercised through athletics.  Offering an inclusive athletic program to all middle schools students will have lasting effects on our student body,” said Dischiavi.

“I am excited that sixth grade students will be able to participate in sports,” said Grandview Principal, Aaron Joplin. “Our enrollment numbers are slightly lower than many of the county middle schools and the new decision will help to level the playing field in some of the school’s sports.

“Last year we made the decision to begin increasing our extra-curricular offerings for sixth grade students by offering Kids Cook, Robotics Club, and Future Business Leaders of America.  Our sixth grade students participated in all of these events,” said Joplin. “I believe the sixth grade students are looking for ways to connect to the school and show school spirit.  I am excited that we are offering sports to them starting in the spring, as they will be able to connect to the middle school experience as they never have before. 

“We should not wait to build leadership and teamwork skills until students are in seventh and eighth grade,” said Joplin.

For details on tryouts for HPS middle school sports, interested families may contact the Athletic Director at each of the two schools: Northview, Mike Mackie and Grandview, Todd Teague.


(Post/photos by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications)




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