By: Bethany Ackerman // January 3th, 2018 // Stories
Delmarva Christian’s Athletic Director, Jim Berger, attended the 48th annual National Athletic Directors Conference (NADC) at the Phoenix (Arizona) Convention Center from December 8 to 12 along with nine other athletic directors from the state of Delaware.
The conference, consisting of more than 2,000 athletic administrators, spouses, guests, and exhibitors, was co-sponsored by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) and the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS).
“I couldn’t believe that about 1,200 athletic directors were at this conference,” said Berger. “The convention center was packed with like-minded individuals who endure the same daily struggles and are looking to enhance their programs.”
Founder of Big Oak Ranch, Inc. and professional speaker, John Croyle, served as the opening keynote speaker. Croyle was a former all-American football player under coach Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama.
Forty workshop sessions were offered at the NADC with key topics including, multi-sport participation, social media policies in sports, safety for afterschool activities, hazing/bullying, and Title IX compliance.
“The NADC had a wide variety of workshops which made the decision harder to choose which breakout sessions to attend,” said Berger. “Over the course of three days, I took four four-hour-long informational classes.”
In addition to networking opportunities, workshops, and keynote speakers, the NADC offered NIAAA Leadership Training Institute (LTI) courses. These courses provided professional development for athletic directors and their coaches.
“The LTI courses offered great suggestions on books to look into for professional development with my coaching staff,” explained Berger. “I’m excited for some of the new and interesting topics I now have to teach the coaches.”
In order for the attendees to have a break from the workshops, the NADC held a National Bagoo Tournament. Baggo, also known as cornhole, is a lawn game in which players take turns throwing beanbags at a raised platform with a hole in the far end.
Sixty-four teams competed including one team from each state, conference advisory teams, and even a couple of retired athletic director teams. Delmarva Christian’s Jim Berger and Casear Rodney High School’s Athletic Director Bob Beron were selected to represent Delaware in the tournament.
“When we first started playing, we really were just two teammates having fun,” said Berger. “Once we beat the teams from New York, the District of Columbia, and Connecticut, we started realizing we had a chance to win the whole tournament.”
In the semi-finals the Delaware team beat Arkansas 16-13 advancing Berger and Beron into the finals. The two went on to play Washington State, where they won 15-9 claiming the National Baggo Tournament title at the NADC, as well as two $100 Visa gift cards and custom school cornhole boards for each school.
“Attending the NADC was a great experience, and winning the National Baggo Tournament was the icing on the cake,” commented Berger.
The closing session featured keynote speaker, Anthony Robles, former member of the Arizona State University wrestling team. Robles captured the 2011 NCAA individual wrestling championship in the 125-pound weight class despite being born with only one leg. In 2011, Robles also was the recipient of the Jimmy V Award of Perseverance at the ESPYs.
“I am already excited for the 2018 National Athletic Directors Conference to reconnect with people I met this year, continue expanding my knowledge about my program, and of course, for Bob Beron and I to defend our National Baggo Tournament title,” exclaimed Berger.
The goal of the athletic department at Delmarva Christian Schools is to prepare young men and women for competition and for life. As DCS teams compete, they will strive to encourage the members of the body of Christ and bear witness of His saving grace to the lost world.
For more information about Delmarva Christian Schools call 302-856-4040.
Delmarva Christian Schools Athletic Director Jim Berger stops in front of the national bracket with Casear Rodney High School Athletic Director Bob Beron after winning the Baggo Tournament at the National Athletic Directors Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Sixty-four teams made up of athletic directors, conference advisory personnel, and retired athletic directors competed in the tournament.