What is Country School’s athletic philosophy?

The philosophy of our athletic program is in line with our overall mission, which is to bring out the best in all students. Students at all levels are expected to put forth their very best effort and to represent Country School with pride and good sportsmanship.

At the Middle School level, our competitive philosophy focuses on development, collaboration, and fun. Students come to Country School with all different levels of skill and ability. We encourage our coaches to teach the basic fundamentals associated with each sport in a fun manner. We want our Middle School students to understand what it means to work together toward a common goal and support their teammates.

The Athletics Program is directed by Chris Wallack, a long-time educator and coach who is happy to see his students excel but is really motivated by seeing them try something new. Teachers join Mr. Wallack to serve as coaches for the various teams.

A powerfully unique aspect of our program is that Country School athletes can choose to play multiple sports during the same season. The Athletic Director builds the program with as few overlap sporting contests each season as possible so that students can, for example, play on more than one team in the same season. Students tend to practice more with one team than another but are welcomed to participate in interscholastic contests against other schools. This broad foundation contributes to the extraordinary number of Country School graduates who play a plethora of sports in high school and college.

Which team sports are offered each season?

Boys’ Soccer
Girls’ Soccer
Coed Cross Country

Girls’ Basketball
Boys’ Basketball

Boys’ Baseball
Girls’ Softball
Girls’ Lacrosse
Boys’ Lacrosse
Tennis (co-ed)
Ultimate Frisbee

What grades play sports?

Students in 5th through 8th Grade participate in athletics at The Country School. Students in 4th Grade sometimes get invited to practice and play, depending on the sport.

Are there intramurals for younger students?

We presently offer cross country intramurals for students in PreSchool through 4th Grade.

What is the athletic requirement?

Students in grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 must participate in either a fall or spring interscholastic team sport. Most students easily exceed the requirement.

Which opponents does Country School play?

Because we believe our athletes learn most when they are challenged, Country School teams plays a variety of opponents throughout the year in the CISAL (CT Independent School Athletic League) and beyond, depending on the sport. In addition to regular-season play, Country School athletes participate Cross Country Junior Olympics for States, Regionals and Nationals as well as soccer and basketball tournaments.

Typical opponents include:

Amity, Branford, Chase Collegiate, Cheshire Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall, Eagle Hill School, East Haven, Ezra Academy, Foote, Guilford, Hamden Hall, Hopkins, Independent Day School, Kingswood-Oxford, Mooreland Hill, New Haven, North Haven, Our Lady of Mercy, Orange, Pine Point, Polson, Renbrook, Shelton, St. John's, Unquowa, Williams

What is the tryout process and are there cuts?

Tryouts take place at the beginning of each season. Following our athletic philosophy of growth, there are no cuts in Middle School; players in 5th-7th Grade participate on either the varsity or junior varsity team while 8th Graders all participate on the varsity level.

If I've never played a particular sport before, can I still try out for the team?

At The Country School, every Middle School student is expected to play on at least one interscholastic sports team, with a majority of our athletes playing all three seasons.

I play on a premier team outside school. Can I do both?

Many of our students play on teams outside of school, both town leagues and premier teams. Students are given the schedule as soon as it’s available and based on their availability and the flexibility of their premier coaches, our student athletes find the time to do both. It has worked very successfully for many student athletes at The Country School. We welcome the conversation about how to play for your school team as well as other teams you support.

Where do I find information on practice and game schedules, bus return times, cancellations, etc?

All of this information can be found on the athletics calendar in the secure community portal myCountrySchool.

How do I know where away games are played?

Location information and directions can be found on the athletics calendar in the secure community portal myCountrySchool.

How are students transported to and from away games?

Country School provides transportation to and from games and off-campus practice facilities.

What is the policy on attendance at practices and games?

Athletes must attend team practices every day that they attend school. The coach must receive advance notice if a student is unable to attend a practice or game. The coach should be informed of an absence directly by the student and a parent. Out of respect to teammates, we require that all non-urgent medical appointments and outside lessons be scheduled so as not to conflict with practice and game times.

How does Country School honor enthusiastic and outstanding athletes?

The Athletic Department, with Chris Wallack as Athletic Director, honors athletes in many ways:

  • Student athletes share their game highlights at Middle School and All School Meetings.
  • The Athletic Director, with coaches' input, select 8th Graders to receive the Cox Bowl, Interscholastic Athletic Award, and the PE/Athletic Prize. These prizes, along with an inclusive recognition of our athletes, takes place at the Sports Award Ceremony, typically held at the end of the school year.

Whom should a parent contact with questions about athletics or team policies?

Start by contacting the team’s head coach. Issues that cannot be resolved directly with the coach may be brought to the attention of Chris Wallack, Athletic Director, or to your child’s Advisor.

We afford opportunities to every player. If we have more athletes than we need on one team, we just create another. Elementary school athletes don't know if they are destined for a college program; they simply play early on for the enjoyment. As a coach and PE teacher, my goal is to foster their desire to play and make individual and team sports fun and interesting yet appropriately competitive. I'm happy for all Country School alumni who play either recreationally or in high school or even in college because I provided them with the experiences and laid the foundation for them to enjoy a lifetime of activity. Beyond developing athletic skills, participation on a team allows our athletes to learn the importance of relying on, supporting, and cooperating with each other to meet with success. Country School athletes take pride in their accomplishments on and off the field.

-Athletic Director Wallack