Cool Schools: Cottage Hill Christian Academy
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) —
This week, Local15 Today’s Cool Schools highlighted the great things happening at Cottage Hill Christian Academy, where the focus is on Faith, Family and Future!
One program that is putting their motto of “Faith, Family and Future” into action is the Big Buddy program.
There is a special bond between senior Rachel Fleck and kindergartener Emeson Wiggins. A picture of the two them colored by Emerson hangs in Rachel’s locker every day.
“The highlight of my senior year was meeting Emerson, and just seeing the joy of a child, it lights up our entire day,” said Rachel.
Rachel is Emerson’s “Big Buddy” – a lucky senior assigned to each kindergartener at Cottage Hill.
“It gives them somebody to look up to. It gives them an opportunity to see Christ-like behavior modeled out on a day-to-day basis, and see what it’s like to be a Cottage Hill Warrior,” explained Jeremy Sandefur, the Lower School Principal.
Whether it’s the “big” reading to their “little” or the other way around, the buddies spend time together throughout the year, even getting to shadow their seniors through the halls and inside the classrooms of the high school.
“It’s really about building those relationships and building a brighter future,” added Sandefur.
The seniors learn the responsibility of their actions and get to see the impact that is possible – a lesson that can’t be taught in a book.
“Getting to know her heart and seeing the love of the Lord in her is just really cool, because they’re always so happy and want to play and excited to see you. So that’s really special,” added Rachel.
At Cottage Hill Christian Academy, nearly every student is aiming high with athletics – 80% of the student body is involved in some sort of athletics and extracurricular activities.
Out of a school of 600 students, 300 participated in fall sports, 200 in spring sports, and 150 in basketball alone.
“It’s just like a family. It’s like you go home with your actual family, and when you’re here you’re with your Cottage Hill family. And there’s just something special about it that I don’t think anyone wants to miss out on,” explained senior basketball player Katie West.
That focus on family is the formula for success, a family that starts building for many of the athletes in elementary school and only grows through high school.
Despite a season-ending injury for basketball senior Andrew Waite, he still suits up to show his support.
“Cottage Hill Athletics is an experience like no other. I use the word ‘together’ when I talk about it. Because it’s not just a sports team. We’re a family here. We do everything together. Whether its practice together, play together, eat together, pray together, make fun of each other together, it’s all here, and we all love each other so much,” said Waite.
That love has translated to big wins. Championship banners line the gymnasium and trophy cases are crowded with the visuals of victory.
“Last year, nearly 80% of our varsity programs made post-season and championship play. With that being said, we had right at 30% of our seniors, go on to continue play at the college level. That’s pretty amazing when the national average is somewhere around 5%,” explained Athletic Director Chris Brazell.
Given all that great success, Coach Brazell said that later this year, he plans to start a hall of fame for Cottage Hill players that have laid the groundwork and gone on to do great things.
January 22, 2017
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.