Former Delmar and collegiate soccer standout Casey Bellamy has taken on many roles at The Salisbury School, from teaching upper school history to serving as the men’s soccer coach. His biggest impact, however, has been transforming the athletic programs at the school since taking over as Athletic Director a year ago.
A Haven for Student-Athletes
“The Salisbury School has always been a great place for student-athletes,” says Beverly Dearing, TSS’s Head of School, noting that the percentage of TSS students who go on to play in NCAA varsity sports is almost double the national average. “But Casey has innovated many new enhancements to give our student-athletes a competitive edge in their respective sports and provide extra college placement guidance to those who want to compete in college athletics. These new programs will help the athletes with their performance on both our school teams and with their travel teams outside of school.”
One of Mr. Bellamy’s first moves as The Salisbury School’s Athletic Director was to hire Certified Sports Performance Specialist Cody Revel, the owner of The Athlete Academy, as a full-time employee of the school. Mr. Revel is well known as the go-to sports performance expert for serious young athletes on the lower Eastern Shore.
“Cody Revel has helped me transform our traditional physical education program in our Middle and Upper School divisions to be more engaging and productive for athletes and non-athletes alike,” said Mr. Bellamy. For instance, rather than general gym classes involving traditional activities such as kick ball, high school students at The Salisbury School can select specialized gym classes such as physical athletic training, yoga, or self-defense.
“We are really pleased with these new offerings for our students,” said Mr. Bellamy. “I am proud that our student-athletes now have the option to take specialized courses to improve their athletic performance led by the top youth athletic trainer in the area. Providing our students with different opportunities to foster bodily-kinesthetic intelligence learning styles is important. I want our students to maximize their class-time in a course they are passionate about rather than fall into a class based purely in team-sports.”
In addition to the athletic training classes led by Mr. Revel, the school is now offering separate courses in yoga and self-defense as physical education alternatives. Several students requested a yoga class and the school accommodated the request, recognizing the fitness and wellness benefits of yoga.
Mr. Bellamy has also made several key moves to ensure that the student-athletes at The Salisbury School have excellent coaching. Most recently, he was able to hire Coach Jermichael Mitchell, the current Bayside South Basketball Coach of the Year, to lead the men’s basketball program. “We already had a great basketball program. It will only continue to improve with the addition to Coach Mitchell to our existing line up of excellent coaches,” stated Mr. Bellamy.
Enhanced College Placement Program
The Salisbury School is well known for its excellent academics and college placement programs. All graduates go to college. And despite its small size, many TSS students are admitted to extremely competitive schools. Members of the Class of 2019 were admitted to Yale, Duke, UC Santa Barbara, Swarthmore College, William and Mary, Carnegie Melon University, and several others.
“There is an interesting synergy between athletics and academics,” explained Mr. Bellamy. “By helping our students to achieve academic success, they are desired by more coaches and athletic programs, who often times have pressure to meet team GPA standards. And, of course, the fact that our student-athletes can generally be admitted to more competitive schools broadens their options and ability to leverage both merit and potential athletic scholarships.”
Mr. Bellamy and Mr. Revel have also teamed with TSS’s full-time college placement counselor, Gracie Ruark, to offer specialized guidance and help during the college athletic recruiting process. “I spent two years as a college recruiter and coach for soccer. I understand how the process works, and how it differs at Division I, II, and III Schools. Cody Revel has also counseled many student-athletes on college recruitment. We’ve put this experience together with Mrs. Ruark, a former college admissions officer herself, to offer top-notch guidance for our families who have a son or daughter that plans to compete collegiately.”
Mr. Bellamy believes strongly that the school’s academic preparation and specialized counseling for student-athletes will better prepare the students for both college and the recruitment process, and likely broaden their options for college athletics. “I take great pride in what we are doing to help our student-athletes to excel both academically and athletically. Our goal is to prepare them for the future. College athletics can be a great experience for the student athlete and a great vehicle to help broaden college admissions options. But our main goal is to prepare students and to give them the tools they need to be successful not just in sports, but academically and in life. We provide that entire package at The Salisbury School.”
For more information about the athletics programs or admissions at The Salisbury School, contact Gail Carozza at 410-742-4464 ext.123.