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Q&A with Athletic Director Kim Smith on start of sports seasons, goals for year

Photo credit: Rebecca Aranda
Athletic Director Kim Smith gives an opening speech at the 2022-2023 Athletic Awards Night. Last year, along with Athletic Awards Night, she organized college signings, pep rallies and other events.

A new year means a fresh start for students, administration, staff and athletes alike. As fall sports begin, Athletic Director Kim Smith is introducing new sports teams and sports-related opportunities to the Archer community. The Oracle sat down with Smith to discuss these changes and her goals for the athletics program.

How has the athletics program changed at Archer over the years?

Kim Smith [KS]: I’ve been in this position for about four-and-a half years. Every year, we look to make it a better athletics experience and to build off the previous years in terms of the success of the teams. I want to make sure that the mission of the school and the focus for the school year is coming to life within each of our teams, and that the athletes are getting the opportunities to really realize their true potential and to work hard towards it.

What new sports teams or opportunities are you introducing this year?

[KS]: So last year, we piloted middle school. In the fall, we had clinics, and then we partnered with Dragons Lacrosse, a local lacrosse club in Santa Monica. We’ll build on the middle school lacrosse team this year. For this season, we have a new flag football [team], so we’re going to pilot that and see how it goes. They’ll play on Fridays in the backfield, and it’ll be student-run. We also have our surf team. Last year, only upper schoolers were able to participate, but this year, we have opened it up to experienced surfers within the middle school. They’re not allowed to compete, but it’s a way for us to build the surf program. We also, for the first time this year, added middle school volleyball during FLX Block. Because we had 78 students try out for middle school volleyball, and there are only three teams, we wanted to make sure that every student had the opportunity to play, even if they weren’t on the competition roster. For cheer, we’re still in a building phase. It takes time to build something meaningful and a program that people want to be a part of.  This year, for the first time, our cheer team is going to perform at some of our athletics events. So for our volleyball games for middle school, they’re going to perform. The goal is for them to perform at one of our upper school volleyball [games].

What goals do you have for the athletes this year?

[KS]: My goal is that each of our our student athletes find their light through sport and feel empowered, confident and find their voices and take that light and bring it not only to their team, but in everything that they do. My goal is for them to become difference-makers. And this year specifically, I want them to explore their edges and really take risks in their sport — for them to be brave, have integrity and courage. The athletics motto this year is “all in.”  

Does Archer have plans for expanding sports facilities?

[KS]: Our senior administration is working really hard to build a gym. I know that a gym is really going to help elevate our sports and get more of our students involved in our sports community, so a gym is an overarching goal for our school.

What personal goals do you have as athletic director for this year?

[KS]: One of my goals is to connect with each of our athletes and to really learn about each of their individual goals and what they’re working towards. I want to see how I can best support them and really see their growth. I’m excited to see how the work that our coaches are doing and the support of our community impacts our student athletes’ ability to reach their true potential.

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About the Contributor
Surya Patil, Sports Editor
Surya Patil joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2021 and became Sports Editor in 2022. She is currently on the Archer varsity tennis team and on the Athletic Leadership Council. When she is not reporting or playing tennis, you can find her watching 2000s tv shows and spending time with her friends and family.

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