The Jr. Hilltoppers’ Football Program strives to provide all participants in grades 5-8 with the opportunity to learn and compete in the game of football according to their God-given talents. It is the commitment of the program, the board, and the coaching staff to do everything possible to make sure every player becomes better in terms of their ability and understanding of the game of football. In addition, we also stress the following Ignatian principles taught in the Jesuit tradition:
AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM (A.M.D.G.) – Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam means that whatever one does should manifest how one’s God is working on earth. It is the very purpose for the work in which one engages. Education is not seen as an end in itself, but a means towards greater knowledge and love of one’s God. It is the search for the finding of one’s God in all things, both in ordinary and extraordinary daily experiences. All of the boys have been given special gifts from God that we will encourage them to use in practice and games.
CURA PERSONALIS – Cura personalis is the deep appreciation for and respect for each individual person and affirming the goodness and dignity of each person. Cura personalis is the “care for the person” – seeing each person as someone who is personally known, called and loved by their God. Cura personalis means that each person has a sense of belonging, that all persons matter and that no person “falls through the cracks.” Our boys will walk away with a great understanding of the word TEAM and what it means to be a part of something greater than themselves and what it means to be a teammate.
MAGIS – Magis is the seeking of the “more,” the striving for excellence in all that one does. It is the conscious act of not being satisfied with the status quo nor just doing the minimum. Our boys will challenge themselves to pursue excellence in all they do.
MEN FOR OTHERS – The primary motive for Jesuit ministry is service. The whole purpose of human existence is to share one’s gifts and talents with others. Each person is called to use their talents and gifts to serve the needs of others. Men for others means moving from acts of charity to acts of justice – it is our hope that all of our boys become leaders-in-service.
The grades, 5/6 grades and the 7/8 grades are considered separate groups and have slightly varying philosophies as follows:
The 5th and 6th grades will be of a modest competitive nature, traveling to other local cities to play in games that will have paid referees and abide by regular football rules. Participants come into the program with different levels of experience. Regardless of this, the emphasis will be on learning the basics needed for the game of football. The focus is for the participants to develop their skills through practices and game experiences. While minutes may not be exact, every effort will be made to play each member of the team equally with the goal of developing skills in a Christian-centered athletic environment.
In the 7th and 8th grades, while there is still a strong emphasis on skills and good sportsmanship, playing time and positions are determined on ability level and weight restrictions as put forth by the league. The goal of each game is to field the most competitive team possible which may not equate into equal playing time for all team members but every effort will be given to afford all participants an opportunity to play a minimum equivalent of one quarter per game. Every effort will be made to exceed this minimum requirement. This program prepares the participants for high school football and the realities of competitive athletics. The importance at this level is for the participants to develop their God-given talents through practices and game experiences. God has given each of us special gifts and talents and it is our desire to aid in developing those gifts.
The program will incorporate the very best of Marquette University High School’s Football Program’s philosophies, policies, and procedures and make them age-appropriate for the various grade levels. One such tenet is that the coaching staff will not prejudge any player from the prior year. The program realizes that abilities and skills among participants develop at different rates and times.