DCA has KHSAA membership application approved
Danville Christian Academy athletics received a major boost last week.
The KHSAA approved its membership application on Thursday. This year will be the first year of a two-year candidacy period, with the 2019-20 academic year the target for DCA to becoming a full-fledged member of the KHSAA.
“We’ve had discussions for it for quite a few years,” DCA Athletic Director Jamie Middleton said. “We’ve been happy with where we are, and our board has always prayed about it, our athletic committees. We just felt like it was the right time to make the step, the board wanted to make the step. We feel like it’s in God’s timing and we’re going to do this and see where God takes it.”
DCA has been a member of the Kentucky Christian Athletic Association (KCAA), participating in sports every season. Those same sports will be offered by DCA with their switch, with additional sports being offered as enrollment and interest permits.
Right now, DCA has 132 students — including 21 high school students. DCA would be the third-smallest school in the KHSAA, according to enrollment numbers submitted to the KHSAA for the 2016-17 season.
Kentucky School for the Deaf has 72 enrolled and Burgin is next on the list of area schools with 144, according to those same numbers.
Headmaster Jim Ward said he’d like to get the total enrollment up to 200 students by 2019-20.
“I think that getting this news is actually going to ultimately increase enrollment, and we really believe that,” Ward said. “… We absolutely are excited about the possibilities here. With anything, we’re just interested in the growth of Danville Christian Academy. We are going to so embrace the idea that we get to actually compete locally, that’s going to be a great thing. That’s just a good community builder all the way around. We’re all about Danville, period. We want every child in this county and surrounding counties to do well and we want to be a part of that community and we’re going to enjoy the fellowship we have and the competition we will be able to have.”
DCA’s home court has been Harrodsburg Baptist Church’s ROC, with baseball and softball games played at Anderson Dean Park and Millennium Park, respectively.
Could there be a “home site” in the future?
“Right now, we are in discussions with the board. We have a committee that is working on a ‘Warrior Complex,’” Ward said. “That news may be coming shortly.”
Middleton said DCA’s application involved many aspects of what the school is already doing with athletics.
“We had to fill out an application, talk everything about the school, the sports we offer and the sports we plan to offer in the future,” Middleton said. “Of course, KHSAA rules, all of our coaches have to be certified in CPR, first aid and take some online courses with KHSAA. It’s a lot more organization and professionalism. Because what we have now, all of that is recommended, it’s not required. Now it’s going to be required.”
Having certified CPR coaches is just one aspect of KHSAA membership that DCA will look to tackle. The two year-candidacy period starting this season will give DCA time to prepare for KHSAA membership.
“We believe we are heading down the right path, it’s been a long time getting here and we’re going to stay the course,” Ward said.
KHSAA communications director Joe Angolia said there aren’t many applications to join the association every year, and in his five years with the KHSAA, there have only been a handful of added schools.
With that said, DCA is looking forward to its participation. Rivalry games against teams like Boyle County and Danville are on the horizon, and the Warriors already participate and compete against area schools in sports like cross country and bass fishing.
“We will probably wait until 2019-20 to schedule other KHSAA members,” Middleton said. “We can do that now, and to be honest we probably will in the individual sports. With our enrollment being so low, in some sports we’re using home-schooled students. We can’t do that once we play KHSAA sanctioned games. That’s something we have to look at, that’s why we’re probably looking at 2019-20, that’s when your first year as a full member is, that’s probably what we’re going to wait to do and just play schools with similar enrollments, similar type schools and so forth. Until we have to play schools, or if we decide, ‘yes we want to play districts in this sport,’ we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Golf is a sport that DCA has always offered, but in the KCAA it is a spring sport, compared to a fall sport with the KHSAA. Soccer will come when there’s interest, and there has already been discussions about adding swimming and archery to DCA’s list of offered athletics.
“We’re just excited about the future for Danville Christian Academy,” Ward said. “When we announced this at chapel on Friday morning to our students, they all applauded. They’re very excited about the possibilities.”