Afternoon Programs and Athletics

Afternoon Programs

The Afternoon Program is an integral part of the school day that provides a unique opportunity to learn. While risk-taking is part of any educational endeavor, in the Afternoon Program students are free to learn as much from struggle as from success; the experience, not a grade, is the focus. We value fitness and healthy physical activity and require Upper School students to be physically active during at least one of the Afternoon Program seasons each year. We encourage students to engage in new experiences. We value careful decision-making and dedication, and require students to remain in an Afternoon Program once they have committed to it (though the first week of each season is a drop/add period).

Afternoon Program changes may be made during the first week of the season only, and requests must be made to the Academic Dean (non-athletic programs) or the Director of Athletics (athletic programs). After the first week of the season, students will not normally be allowed to drop or add Afternoon Programs.

Lateness and Absences

If a student misses 5% of an Afternoon Program for any reason, a warning notice will be sent via email to student, parent, and advisor from the Academic Office. A student who misses 20% of an Afternoon Program will receive an “Unsatisfactory” (no credit) whether the absences are excused or unexcused. Afternoon Program participation is recorded on student transcripts.

Middle School Afternoon Program Expectations

Middle School students are strongly encouraged to participate in Afternoon Programs but are not required to do so. In 6th grade, we encourage students to participate in an Afternoon Program at least one season. In 7th and 8th grades, we encourage students to participate in an Afternoon Program two or three seasons, one of which would ideally include an athletic team offering. Middle School boarding students must participate in an Afternoon Program each trimester. While Middle School participation in Afternoon Programs is not required for day students, choosing to participate in an Afternoon Program does involve an important commitment to the sponsor/coach and other participants in that program. Once the drop-add period of one week is over, Middle School students may not drop out of or change their Afternoon Program. 

No direct adult supervision is provided after 3:30 p.m. for Middle School students who are not in an Afternoon Program. Middle school students who are not enrolled in an afternoon program must leave campus by 3:30 p.m. each day or enroll in our supervised after school care program (MAC).

Upper School Afternoon Program Expectations

ALL Boarding students and Ninth and Tenth grade Day students must participate in an Afternoon Program during each of the three seasons, including one physically active program.

Eleventh and Twelfth grade Day students must participate in an Afternoon Program during at least two of the three seasons, including one physically active program. For new students, one of these seasons must be in the fall. 

Independent Afternoon Programs

Upper School students interested in pursuing an independent Afternoon Program should be advanced students who have particular interests that require a significant level of commitment and discipline and include competition or performance. Any independent Afternoon Program must meet a minimum of 6 hours per week. The guidelines include good academic and behavioral standing and a minimal number of absences and tardies. Students must enroll in at least one regularly scheduled SAS Afternoon Program each year.

In order to pursue an independent Afternoon Program, students should submit a proposal to the Coordinator of Afternoon Programs for approval at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the season. The Coordinator of Afternoon Programs coordinates non-athletic Afternoon Programs and will act on those proposals. Any proposals for athletic independent Afternoon Programs will be forwarded to the Director of Athletics for response.

The independent Afternoon Program proposal should include a statement of goals, description of the program, meeting times, and a means of assessment. All proposals must meet the approval of the student’s advisor, a program sponsor, and the house parent (if applicable), as indicated by signatures from each. Any independent Afternoon Program must meet at least three times per week for 1.5-2 hours each time. Students must keep an independent Afternoon Program log (reflecting progress each session) and submit that log to the Coordinator of Afternoon Programs at the end of each season in order to complete the program successfully. Failure to fulfill the requirements of the independent Afternoon Program will result in a loss of credit for the program and inability to request future independent Afternoon Programs. By agreeing to allow their child to pursue an independent afternoon program, parents understand that SAS is not providing supervision to their child, cannot guarantee their safety, and is not liable for accident or injury. 


Sportsmanship and Fair Play

SAS will conduct its athletic program with utmost integrity and will follow the rules of the TSSAA, TISCA, ad NICA. The practice of good sportsmanship and fair play is expected of the SAS athletic community both in athletics and in the way students and coaches conduct their lives.

Athletic Philosophy

SAS offers all students the opportunity to develop their athletic skills, to reach their athletic potential, and to enjoy sports through team membership, competition, and participation. Athletics are a means by which students build character, exercise leadership skills, develop self-esteem, and learn the value of discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship. The athletic program is an integral part of the total school curriculum.

SAS offers a well-rounded program of interscholastic athletics for all of its students. Opportunities for participation vary according to the sport and the level of competition. At the Middle School level, coaches emphasize the development of athletic skill and meaningful participation. At the varsity level, performance and team success become more primary objectives. However, in any athletic endeavor, the final measure of success lies not in winning or losing, but in how our athletes prepare for and play the game. The health and well-being of SAS student athletes come first; winning comes second.

Athlete-Coach-Parent/Guardian Relationships

Students involved in athletics experience some of the most rewarding and challenging moments of their lives. In athletic competition, success and accomplishment are sometimes tempered by disappointment and frustration. When athletes are experiencing difficult times in their sport, it is important that they initiate a discussion with the coach. Positive coach-athlete relationships and clear communication can help athletes overcome obstacles and learn valuable life lessons.

Coaches will strive to communicate clear expectations for team membership to both athletes and parents/guardians. Coaches should also communicate to the athlete and parent/guardian any disciplinary action resulting in the denial of participation and the reasons for that action. Coaches make decisions based on what they believe is best for the team and all athletes involved. The judgment and authority of the coach to make decisions regarding strategy and playing time should be respected.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to discuss with the coach any concerns about their child’s emotional or physical health. Parents/guardians may also request suggestions about ways their child might improve their performance. It is inappropriate for a parent/guardian to discuss with a coach the status of another athlete.

Parents/guardians should make an appointment with the coach to discuss any concerns about their child. It is inappropriate to approach a coach with such issues after a contest or practice, as these can be emotionally charged times for all concerned, and such conversations rarely produce satisfactory results. If the concerns of parents/guardians remain unresolved after discussion with the coach, an appointment may be made with the Director of Athletics.

Athlete Responsibilities

All athletes and managers should expect to attend each contest, unless stated otherwise by the coach. If athletes must miss classes for athletic obligations, they should:

  • Notify teachers at least two days in advance of any early dismissal;
  • Before leaving for the event, complete and submit any work due that day;
  • Get homework assigned during the missed class;
  • Complete the homework and be ready to submit it when it is due.

If there is a test or major project due during the missed class, the athlete should make arrangements to take the test in advance, if possible, or as soon as practical after the event. If an individual athlete is unable or unwilling to meet these responsibilities, possible consequences may include missed practices or contests. A meeting will be held with the student, teacher, coach, advisor, and Director of Athletics to determine the proper course of action.

Middle School

Middle School teams concentrate on learning and developing skills for a particular sport. The objective of Middle School athletics is to instruct and coach athletes in order to prepare them for appropriate competition at the Middle School level and, if they have the desire and ability, to go on to compete at the varsity level. Although games are scheduled in competitive leagues, the element of competition for Middle School is decidedly less a factor than for varsity sports.        

All Middle School athletes receive meaningful participation in Middle School athletic contests during the regular season. Although this does not mean equal playing time in competitions, SAS is dedicated to providing our Middle School athletes with equal opportunities to further their learning and development in practice so they can improve their performance during competitive situations. During tournament play, the emphasis may shift from meaningful participation to a more competitive approach.

Middle School students will play only on Middle School teams. The exception may be when an 8th grader on a Middle School team can start for the varsity team. This exception is initiated by the varsity coach and is made in consultation with the Director of Athletics, the parents/guardians, the Middle School coach, and the Middle School Coordinator.

Junior Varsity

Junior varsity teams concentrate on developing skills and improving overall athletic ability. Coaches will allow all JV athletes to participate in JV contests unless there are disciplinary or physical impediments to participation.


The primary objective of a varsity team is to test its skills in competition and to compete at the highest level. Coaches use what they consider to be their best players to achieve this objective. All coaches will strive to reward varsity athletes with the opportunity to play, but this opportunity should never be taken for granted.

Uniforms and Athletics Apparel

Student athletes will have common practice gear among as many sports as possible to minimize the cost to parents/guardians and to ensure that teams look like teams during practice. Some athletic teams will be required to buy their own uniforms, and when this is the case, coaches will plan for the team to use the same uniform style and practice gear for a minimum of three years. Practice gear will be issued on the first day of practice and will be sold in the school store.

It is the responsibility of each athlete to care for and return school issued uniforms. If a uniform is lost, the student will be charged 1½ times the cost of the original uniform, because individual uniforms are more costly to replace than when ordered in quantity.


Main Number 931.598.5651*
Weekend/Union 931.598.5653*
Administrator-on-Call 931.636.4720

*Links to dial-by-name option and emergency contact

For general new and returning student concerns, student activities, and travel, contact:
Geoffrey Smith
Dean of Students 

Shawna Midgett
Asst. to the Academic Dean

Kelley Black
Associate Head of School/Academic Dean

Rachel Malde
Middle School Coordinator 

Derek Perkins
Director of Admission & Financial Aid

Rob Zeitler
Director of Athletics

Dan Monahan
COVID Coordinator

Melissa Gilliam
Director of the Health Clinic

Molly Short

Sherri Bergman
Director of Communications & Marketing