From their first gym class in nursery, GCDS students learn the importance of good sportsmanship. This emphasis on fair play, integrity, and respect is part of Country Day’s broader commitment to strong character and community—and is one of the reasons many GCDS alums are selected by teachers and peers for leadership positions both on and off the field.
It’s wonderful that Country Day puts sportsmanship first. We’re not about running up the score. We’re not about showing up the other team. It’s about bringing out the best in ourselves and in our teammates.” - Rick Columbo, Head of Middle School
A Team-First Attitude
By emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship and participation, Country Day challenges all our students to learn the truest form of teamwork: how to bring out the best in their teammates.
Our players discover that there's more to being a great athlete than scoring. They learn to practice hard, look for the assist, play to their teammates' strengths, stay focused in clutch situations, and respect both their teammates and the opposition no matter what the scoreboard says.
I remember an alum coming back and telling me what I told him when he was an eighth grader here at Country Day. He was a gifted athlete but his work ethic was awful. I told him, 'If you can ever straighten out that attitude and learn to work hard, you've got all the skill in the world to play Division I.' And, as it turned out, he ended up playing Division I lacrosse. He came back and said, 'I'll never forget what you told me that day.'" - Peter Walmsley, Director of Interscholastic Athletics
A History of Integrity
GCDS has a long history of instilling integrity on the field. Coach “Unc” Hillard, pictured here circa 1958 with the boys’ basketball team, taught his players lasting lessons about good sportsmanship.
Unc Hillard [taught us values] on the playing fields. I clipped some guy over at Rippowam, blind-sided him from behind. And I remember to this day, Unc said, ‘That was a cowardly thing you did. Never hit a guy from behind.’” - President George H. W. Bush, Class of 1937
Nursery - Grade 3
Fun, inclusive games help develop technical skills, hand-eye coordination, and emotional resilience. Learn more >
Grades 4 - 6
Students practice a wide range of sports and team activities in preparation for the start of interscholastic competition. Learn more >
Grades 7 - 9
Rigorous practice and regular games prepare students to excel in high school and college athletics. Learn more >