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Athletic Philosophy

Athletic Program

The Clarence Central School District Athletic Program is designed to provide opportunities for students to be involved in various levels of athletic competition.  Our athletic program emphasizes teaching the fundamental aspects of the sporting events (rules, concepts and strategies) and developing athletic skills, as well as the personal responsibility of being a member of a team.  As students move from level to level, the process of selection may become more competitive.  Intramural programs are available for all students. 

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Clarence Central School District Athletic Program is to enhance the overall educational experience, to promote scholastic performance and personal growth, and to maximize student involvement.


  • Promote, model and provide an opportunity for the development of a healthy and active lifestyle.
  • Foster a positive attitude toward participation; build a sense of fair play and sportsmanship.
  • Provide quality instruction for technical skill development, assist student athletes to set realistic personal and team goals for performance and accept personal responsibility for team play.
  • Guide social, emotional and physical development by providing an environment that nurtures and challenges students to achieve their maximum personal growth.
  • Create opportunities that encourage all students to develop skills in the areas of leadership, self-discipline and citizenship.
  • Promote a sense of responsibility as an ambassador of our school district.
  • Offer guidance that supplements and enriches the Clarence scholastic program.

Varsity Level

The varsity teams represent the Clarence Central School District in the highest level of interscholastic competition.  Varsity teams serve as the culmination of our athletic program.

At the varsity level, students are selected to represent the district based on a number of characteristics.  These include (but are not limited to) level of physical ability, level of skill development, and strong personal traits that allow the student to be a strong contributing member of the team.  Participating in varsity level sports requires a strong commitment to the rigors of numerous practices, some of which may take place during "vacation periods".

The squad size at the varsity level may be limited.  Students may be cut based on the number of participants that are needed to make the team function effectively in practice situations, as well as during competition.  Team members need to be willing to understand and accept their role within the team.  Although providing playing time for each of the members of the squad is a goal, there is no guarantee as to the amount of playing time.

In most cases, seniors and juniors make up the majority of the roster.  There are times when sophomores and freshmen are included, but that is done based on special circumstances.  At times, students from the Middle School (8th grade only) may be included.  That would occur rarely and be done in accordance with the policy of the Clarence School Board.

Junior Varsity Level

The junior varsity level is intended to develop and prepare students to participate and compete at the varsity level. Team membership often varies depending on the sport, but the majority of students are sophomores and freshmen. 

Junior varsity participation emphasizes physical conditioning, refinement of physical skills, as well as the understanding of the elements of play and team strategy.  At the junior varsity level program there is a balance among the goals of continued player development, team development, and striving to win.

Students who participate at the junior varsity level need to understand and accept responsibility for practicing and working as a team.  A high level of commitment and dedication is expected from all participants.  Students can expect to be involved in meaningful contest participation during the course of the season.  However, the amount of playing time will vary and is not guaranteed.

Modified Level

The modified level provides an opportunity for seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students to be involved in interscholastic competition.  The program is aimed at teaching the fundamentals of the various games and team play.  It focuses on athletic development, skill development, and teaching game rules.  It is also aimed at developing a sense of healthy athletic competition, as well as socio-emotional growth for students.  The level of competition and practice sessions will be appropriate for the physical development of the adolescent's body.

The modified level activities will be aimed at providing as many opportunities as possible for students.  Ideally, the intent is to not "cut" students who are really interested in participating.  At the same time, the Clarence Central School District must take into account variables like financial resources, qualified coaches, appropriate facilities, a safe environment, and the number of students who are interested.

Students participating in modified athletics need to accept the responsibility of team membership and dedication to practice sessions.  Developing athletic skills and understanding will be the focal points of modified athletics.  Students will have opportunities to participate in meaningful events throughout the course of the season.  The sense of winning may be tempered by the goal of developing students.


The intramural program is intended to provide students with opportunities to participate in competitive sporting events and activities at an age appropriate level and in a manner that allows the greatest amount of participation.  Our intramural program provides an initial involvement in school related competitive sports for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students, as well as a more social involvement for older students.

The intramural program, particularly in the early middle school years, focuses on teaching the fundamentals of sportsmanship, team participation, and athletic competition in a setting that allows participation among students with a broad range of athletic ability.  While the intramural program is designed to assist with athletic development, skill development, and a basic understanding of various sports and activities (especially at the early stages), it is also aimed at encouraging student participation in recreational sporting events.