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The Way We Were–How Far We Have Come
Posted 12/11/2011 12:27PM

The Way We Were - How Far We’ve Come

Ronnie McFarland
Director of Athletics

In 1885, long before Title IX mandated equal athletic opportunities for young women, Lincoln School recognized the importance of athletics and instituted organized competitions for its students. Although the programs were far from the organizational complexity and competitive intensity seen at the games today, the spirit of competition and the educational value of physical fitness has always been the bedrock of our foundation. The earliest school record of interscholastic competition was a 1911 basketball game played against Moses Brown School on Angell Street (yes, it was held outdoors) utilizing the cable car line as the designation of half court. There is no record of who claimed Angell Street as the “Home Court” or the names of those who officiated at the game. But, the experience must have been encouraging because athletic competition grew in importance over the ensuing years. By 1924, basketball and tennis were solidly embedded in the program with implementation of seasonal scheduling.

Recognizing athletics as an increasingly important facet of a Lincoln education, the school constructed its first gymnasium in 1927 to include a locker room, shower facilities and athletic offices.

Following the days of the Great Depression and the outbreak of World War II, the Lincoln School interscholastic program continued to expand in the 1940s with the addition of field hockey and lacrosse to the competition schedule.

1972 brought the break through legislation of Title IX, which changed the intensity and level of participation of girls in athletics. As both the number of teams and the number of participants in athletics continued expanding, in part a response to the expanding intercollegiate opportunities, Lincoln School met the interest with the acquisition of Faxon Farm property in 1981, and the development of fields for field hockey, lacrosse and four new tennis courts. Following close on the completion of the Faxon Farm development, the Boss-McLoughlin Gymnasium was constructed in 1984 to expand our athletic facilities on the Providence campus.

Lincoln School athletics moved to yet a higher level in 2007. A portion of the Wheeler Gymnasium was significantly remodeled into the state of the art Amy Leeds Fitness Center. The facilities, supervised by coaching and training professionals, include both aerobic and strength training equipment in a climate-controlled setting with personalized music. This facility is available to both interscholastic athletes in training and those students who choose a personal fitness program. Also in 2007, the Faxon Farm facility was further enhanced with the addition of a synthetic turf field. As an ever-increasing number of Lincoln School athletes are recruited to play collegiate athletics, it has become important that their interscholastic experience replicate the playing conditions found at the nation’s highest level of collegiate competition. The Lincoln School synthetic facility is the only such facility in Southern New England, lined and made available exclusively for girls athletics.

Recognizing the remarkable history of Lincoln School athletes, Lincoln formed and inducted its first class of Lincoln School Hall of Fame Athletes at a gala dinner on February 5, 2010. The roster of current Hall of Fame Athletes can be seen at www.lincolnschool.org/page.cfm?p=1690

Also in 2010, we continued the development of Lincoln athletic facilities with the installation of six new tennis courts, plus an additional natural grass playing field at Faxon Farm. The funding for the final Phase Three development of Faxon Farm is currently underway.

Today, Lincoln School offers interscholastic athletic programs in: lacrosse, crew, swimming, squash, soccer, tennis, field hockey, basketball, and cross country

Lincoln School athletic teams have earned 37 championships since 1985 with nine occurring in the last five years. This fall all four of our varsity sports recorded successful seasons. Our tennis team is currently the 2011 RIIL Division I Champions, soccer was a finalist in the SENE Championship, cross country took a second place finish in the SENE Championship, and field hockey finished fourth in RIIL Division 1-A and qualified for the RIIL tournament. Our fall athletes have collectively received an outstanding five Providence Journal All-State selections and 13 first team all division nominations in both the RIIL League and the SENE League. Currently, 30 Lincoln School alumnae are playing intercollegiate sports with many of the athletes playing at the highest levels and representing some of the top universities in the country.

The story of athletics at Lincoln School would not be complete without acknowledging the quality and dedication of the coaches. The coaches are talented teachers and experienced athletes. The focus of the Lincoln coaching staff is to optimize the conditioning, skills, and competitive performance of the athletes. To that end, the coaching staff includes members who have both played and coached at the collegiate level, in international competition and a few instances of play at the professional level.   They are an experienced, dedicated and results-oriented cadre of athletic professionals.

With a strong history of a commitment to athletics through the school's dedication to providing the best opportunities, facilities and staff, Lincoln School today has positioned itself to offer the best athletic experience in a setting of academic excellence for the young women of Southern New England.


© 2014 Lincoln School | 301 Butler Avenue | Providence, RI 02906 | Ph: (401) 331 9696 | Fax: (401) 751 6670 
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