Hounds Secure Second Consecutive Championship at 2023 Beast of the East Tournament
Gilman's Varsity Water Polo team secured their spot as two-time champions at the 2023 Beast of the East Tournament, held at several schools within the Wilson School District in the Philadelphia area on September 22-23.
Fall Athletes and Coaches Visited by Catch A Lift Fund, Founded in Memory of Coffland '84
Gilman was privileged to welcome honored guests from the Catch A Lift Fund (CAL) — founded in memory of alumnus Army Cpl. Chris Coffland '84 — to campus on August 16 for an impactful visit with our fall sports athletes and coaches.
The Hounds had a strong showing at the Penn Relays on Thursday, April 27 with Cam Brown '25 finishing fourth in the Long Jump Championship, one relay team finishing third in the 4x400, and another finishing second in their heat.
Boys need to move. At Gilman, athletics are a co-curricular part of every boy's school day, not an optional activity. Mandatory athletics is not just about winning championships. It's about teaching pride, humility, leadership, self-discipline, sportsmanship, and teamwork, and boys learning skills around wellness, fitness, and physical and mental well-being. We value athletics for the lessons that last a lifetime.
Gilman's athletic program aims to:
Promote self-discipline and responsibility, and teach the value of sustained effort.
Develop teamwork, good sportsmanship, and a competitive spirit.
Build school pride and unity.
Develop fitness and athletic skills through physical education, intramural participation, and interscholastic team sports.
Teach the lifelong benefits of sports and fitness for physical and mental well-being.
Gilman firmly believes that participation in athletics forms a vital part of the overall educational experience for all of its students in all grades, PK-12. At their best, interscholastic and intramural competition and participation — as well as physical education in the lower grades — provide fertile grounds for important physical, social, and emotional growth and development. As with all aspects of our curricular and co-curricular program, the School should offer developmentally appropriate athletic options to serve the students' needs and to realize their full potential.
The following principles guide Gilman's approach to athletics within the context of providing a holistic educational experience for all students.
As we do in virtually every aspect of Gilman's program, we strive for excellence in intramural and interscholastic athletics, a pursuit that should be governed by and balanced within the context of our mission to educate the whole boy in mind, body, and spirit.
Our belief in the education of the whole boy in mind, body, and spirit demands that all aspects of school life be balanced. Athletics should be structured and weighed so that students can meet all of the demands of a Gilman education. Within the athletics program, we will appropriately and reasonably balance the different offerings.
Consistent with our academic curriculum, each division's athletics program should build on the prior division's program. Lower and Middle School students should look up to and see opportunities for themselves in the Upper School sports programs.
Gilman strives to provide an experience that allows students opportunities for success in life well beyond high school and college. Participation in college athletics may be a byproduct of a successful Gilman experience, but the School's primary aim is to produce men of character who attend the best colleges and universities available to them.
The Lower School athletic program emphasizes skill development through a series of sports and activities. Sportsmanship, cooperation, and safe play are highly prioritized at all levels. The organization, focus, and specific content of the physical education classes differ in the primary (prep-one through first) grades and upper elementary (second through fifth) grades to address age-appropriate needs.
Swimming is a required part of the physical education program starting in prep-one or first grade. Our goal is for every Lower School boy to become a confident swimmer.
The Middle School athletics curriculum is divided into two units; the sixth grade unit is separate from the seventh and eighth grade unit. Across the curriculum, skill development, learning sportsmanship, and team concept development are of utmost importance, as well as understanding the execution of that skill in game situations.
As a continuum from Lower School, the sixth-grade program is geared toward the physical education realm of activity. Sixth grade students are exposed to a wide range of both individual and team athletic activities, including but not limited to:
Traditional, seasonal sports, such as tackle football, soccer, basketball, wrestling, tennis, swimming, and track
Alpine Tower Climbing
Fitness and Aerobics
The seventh and eighth grade programs expand to offer intramural and interscholastic team athletics opportunities. Seventh and eighth grade students choose a sport in which to participate during each season.
Upper School students must participate in interscholastic or intramural athletics every season except one in their senior year. Most Upper School boys participate on at least one interscholastic team in any given year. However, students are not required to try out for an interscholastic team and may elect to participate solely in intramurals. All interscholastic teams participate in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).
Undersquad (i.e., junior varsity and freshman/sophomore) teams serve a dual purpose of providing a training and proving ground for boys progressing to varsity teams and offering a meaningful interscholastic experience for all boys, including those who will progress to varsity and those whose interscholastic experiences might end at the undersquad level.
Character Education and Athletics
Each interscholastic athletic team in the Upper School meets weekly for roughly half an hour as part of the Character Education Program. The goal of the program is to give students the time and space to consider their values as an individual and also as a member of a team.
Students have the opportunity to share stories, process successes and failures, journal, and set weekly goals for themselves. Discussion topics or introspective questions may include questions such as:
What does it mean to be a great teammate?
How can one more effectively manage pressure?
How does one's body language impact those around us?
How do we make judgments about others without fully understanding them?
What legacy do we hope to leave behind to future teams?
Competition and Development in the Upper School
The athletic program in the Upper School balances participation and skill development with team competitiveness. While all teams at every level strive to provide a meaningful experience for each player, this balance between individual player development and team competitiveness varies depending on the level and focus of the program.
In our intramural program, the primary goal for student development is learning to participate and compete with fellow classmates and schoolmates. The tone of competition in the intramural program is less intense than it is in the interscholastic program. Our interscholastic program places greater emphasis on the results of competition rather than the sheer joy of competition, which is more emphasized in the intramural program. The level of competitive intensity increases from the undersquad levels to the varsity teams. As a result, what it means to be on a varsity team will differ from how we define the undersquad experience at the junior varsity, freshman-sophomore, and Middle School levels.
All teams set out to win games, but varsity teams will place greater emphasis on fielding the most competitive group of players possible at all times. Practices and games at different levels will reflect this reality. At all levels, playing time in games is a product of a combination of athletic ability, work ethic, attitude, and team strategy. As stated above, fielding the most competitive team possible will factor into playing time as boys move up the competitive ladder. In interscholastic game competitions, team success plays a greater philosophical role than individual participation, culminating to the greatest extent at the varsity level.
Most importantly, Gilman places fundamental importance on winning the right way, which we define as playing with good sportsmanship and taking pride in putting forth our best effort — individually and collectively, win or lose — at all times during competitions. Winning the right way also demands that players put team goals above individual aspirations.
We believe that a student's participation in an interscholastic sport can teach him invaluable life lessons. Each member of the team — coach, student, and parent — plays an important role on and off the field.
Participation in athletics can impart invaluable, lifelong memories and values, including the value and meaning of teamwork, resilience, competitive spirit, humility, tolerance, and sportsmanship. For these lessons to have real meaning, however, the athletics experience must be owned by the student and supported by the parent(s).
To that end, Gilman expects parents of athletes to:
Be positively engaged spectators at all athletic events attended, including:
Cheering for Gilman players.
Respecting the judgments of game officials.
Respecting the decisions of the coaches.
Encourage and allow their sons to speak for themselves when discouraged about their status on a team, playing time in games, and/or team strategy:
Refrain from approaching coaches to discuss playing time, personnel decisions, and game strategy.
If needed, set a time to discuss appropriate concerns with coaches.
Gilman School expects that proper behavior will be displayed by our players, coaches, and spectators. We value spirited and fair play and positive support for our players and teams. Players and coaches will always represent themselves and Gilman with honor, proper conduct, and good sportsmanship. Disrespectful behavior from spectators toward players, officials, coaches, or other spectators will not be tolerated at any time. Should inappropriate behavior occur, spectators may be required to leave the premises immediately and forfeit the privilege of attending future contests. Gilman School asks that all continually strive to conduct themselves with appropriate, positive decorum at all contests.
It continues to be the primary goal of the athletic curriculum at Gilman School to teach boys positive developmental skills on and off the playing fields. With this goal in mind, please help us by continuing to model positive and enthusiastic decorum at athletic contests. Let's continue to show exemplary behavior as a community and all join together in the positive education of our boys.
Please enjoy our games throughout the school year. Thank you for your continued support of Gilman boys!
When making admissions decisions, Gilman considers many factors, including but not limited to athletics. We engage in athletic recruiting — just as we seek out students with other special talents — recognizing that we will admit only a limited number of students for whom athletics, or any other special attribute, serves as a distinguishing characteristic. As such, athletics provides only one of several ways to attract a diverse array of talented students.
It is critical that Gilman admit and enroll students and families who are committed to embracing the whole Gilman experience. Gilman should not be used by applicants and their families simply as a means to play a sport; instead, athletics and the consideration they receive in admissions are vehicles for the Gilman experience in its entirety.
The track, oval, and campus paths are not available for general use from 7:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. except for Gilman students and employees.
The tennis courts will be opened from dawn to dusk on non-school days for community use. On school days, use of the courts is restricted to school personnel unless otherwise authorized by School administration.
Those walking dogs through campus are still allowed to do so if the animal is under leash control and provided that dogs do not foul the campus (a health hazard for our students); the campus is still available for general use on weekends and before 7:00 a.m., or after 6:30 until dusk.
Please note that these measures are exclusively designed to enhance the safety and security of our boys.
Knowing, Loving, and Challenging Our Boys:
On and Off the Field, Mat, or Court
Gilman is a school where boys may be learning algebraic equations or Shakespeare in the morning, discussing timely topics at lunch, and practicing zone blitzes or how to throw a lacrosse ball in the afternoon — all with the same adult in each setting. We take great pride in our teacher-coach-mentor model, which allows teachers to connect with the students through activities in and outside the classroom, or on and off the field, court, or mat.
Gilman remains committed to hiring and developing teachers who can and will work with boys in interscholastic and intramural athletics, as well as in all other parts of the School's program outside the academic classroom. Whenever possible, we will staff our programs with faculty coaches.
Recognizing the need to hire some non-faculty coaches to support an interscholastic program that includes 16 sports, the School will support non-faculty coaches to ensure their integration into Gilman's approach to athletics as a core component of a Gilman education.
Encouraging the health, fitness, and wellness of our students is a key element to teaching boys to develop lifelong fitness habits. A core part of Gilman's wellness initiatives, athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions within their scope of athletic training practice.
The history of athletic training and sports medicine at Gilman stretches back over forty years to 1981, when we became the first independent school in Maryland to have a full-time Athletic Trainer, Certified (ATC) on its staff. Gilman continued to lead the way when a second ATC was hired in 1998. Today, our athletic trainers continue to ensure that the School adopts current procedures and techniques to safeguard our students.
The Sports Medicine Office, working under the Athletics Department, cares for every student throughout the School but primarily works with Middle and Upper School students. Gilman's athletic trainers work to:
Prevent injury by implementing education and communication to help students understand how to prevent possible injuries.
Triage, examine, and diagnose injuries whenever they occur.
Rehabilitate emergent, acute, or chronic injuries and medical conditions within their scope of athletic training practice whether the injury occurs at/in Gilman athletics or if it happens while the student is in some off-campus athletic-related activity.
The Sports Medicine Office works with families in the event that an injury needs further referral help outside the office's scope of practice to navigate how, when, where and who to go for more help. The office also creates emergency action plans for all of the facilities around campus that incorporate athletics and make sure they are visible to necessary personnel. Finally, athletic trainers work in conjunction with a team physician to make sure their medical models are up to date and in the best interests of the students.
Students or families interested in setting up an appointment with our Sports Medicine Office should email Nick Pitruzzella, Director of Sports Medicine, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gilman is committed to the wellness of its employees and all faculty and staff have access to the same athletic facilities — including cardiovascular and strength training equipment — and athletic training services as students. Whether helping employees regain their full mobility after a medical procedure or offering helpful advice on preparing for a first marathon, our athletic trainers help keep our faculty and staff feeling our best so they, in turn, can give their best to our students.
Employees interested in setting up an appointment with our Sports Medicine Office should email Nick Pitruzzella, Director of Sports Medicine, at email@example.com.
Intramurals are an integral part of the athletics program and complement the interscholastic program in supporting the School's efforts to educate the whole boy. Intramurals serve as viable alternatives to playing on interscholastic teams and offer meaningful opportunities for students and adults to connect outside the classroom.
While exact offerings differ from year to year based on factors such as student interest or coach and facility availability, the following intramural activities have been available to students in previous years.
Upper School intramural activities are rarely canceled outright unless there is an early dismissal. In the event of inclement weather or fields that are not playable, the following is the procedure followed at Gilman.
All Outdoor Intramural Activities
Students and coaches are to report dressed and ready to participate to the Finney Athletic Center lobby or another designated area by the coaches at 4:00 p.m. At that intramural, coaches make decisions based upon current weather conditions or field conditions as determined by the Athletic Department after consultation with Grounds and Maintenance.
If the weather or field condition prevents regular outside intramural activities from taking place — such as ice, snow, thunder, and/or lightning — then the coaches:
Direct their group to run 2-3 scenics in designated indoor spaces.
Dismiss boys to be ready for pick-up (usually between 4:30-4:45 p.m.).
All Indoor Intramural Activities
These are usually not affected by the weather or field conditions and proceed as scheduled with adjustments should interscholastic practices be moved inside.
The Redmond C.S. Finney Athletic Center is the hub of athletic activity at Gilman. Features of the athletic center include:
An athletic arena (for basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and other indoor spectator sports)
An athletic training room (staffed by two full-time trainers)
The Markland Kelly, Jr. Health, Wellness, and Fitness Center (new in fall 2022)
The Edward T. Russell Wrestling Room
A small gymnasium
A full-size, 25-meter swimming pool
A weight room
Locker rooms and laundry facilities
Conference rooms and administrative offices for athletics personnel
Outdoor Athletic Facilities
Edward Brown Field, the state-of-the-art artificial turf field in Alexander Sotir Stadium, is the focal point for Gilman's outdoor classrooms. The turf is lined for use by football, soccer, and lacrosse. Other outdoor athletic facilities at the School include:
Three game fields (for football, soccer, lacrosse, and other field sports)
An Olympic-sized, 400-meter track
Nine tennis courts
Six practice fields, including one with an all-weather artificial surface
The Alpine Tower, a 40-foot climbing structure
Ample athletic event parking
To provide a wide array of athletic offerings to Gilman students, the School partners with several off-campus facilities for training and games/matches for sports such as ice hockey, golf, squash, rowing, and sailing.
Many Gilman students continue to pursue their passions on the collegiate field of play, at schools big and small, and in several different sports.
We encourage each student with collegiate athletic ambitions to make his intentions to play in college clear to his Gilman coach, as well as to the college coaching staff at the schools to which he plans to apply. Additionally, Gilman's College Counseling Office stands ready to assist throughout the application process.
We welcome inquiries about our talented student-athletes. Please contact the athlete's head coach directly. The coaches will provide password information to either signingdaysports.com or hudl.com or any other third-party recruiting site used by their athletes.
You can contact a member of the Gilman Athletics team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 410-323-7361, or by fax at 410-864-2828. To reach a staff member in the cage, please call 410-323-7362. To reach a staff member at the pool, please call 410-323-7395.
With nearly a dozen clinics, open practices, and meet and greets available this weekend — Saturday, Sep. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 1 — prospective Middle and Upper School families are invited to meet coaches and players, tour facilities, and even take to the field or court!