Athletics Policy


Your son/daughter has indicated the desire to voluntarily participate in The O'Neal School Athletic program. The O'Neal School believes participation in athletics provides many opportunities to enhance spiritual, intellectual, and physical development, each an essential component of The O'Neal School’s mission. Open lines of communication and a clear understanding between parents and the Athletic Department are vital to each athlete’s success. Your interest and active participation in support of your student-athlete is, therefore, greatly appreciated.

The Athletic Department sets policies and procedures that govern the spirit of competition and uphold the traditions and standards of The O'Neal School. To be effective, these rules require broad support from parents, an objective requiring proactive communication. This handbook addresses that objective.
We ask that you read this policy thoroughly with your student-athlete(s).


Being a member of The O'Neal School Program is a privilege. Participation carries certain responsibilities on and off the field and courts, and on and off campus. A great athletic tradition is built by the hard work of many people over many years. You are a valued part of continuing to build a wonderful tradition, a tradition you are challenged to uphold. We ask that you read this policy thoroughly with your parents.


The Athletic Department uses The O'Neal School website ( for all communication. Communication includes scheduled and rescheduled games and game times, transportation information, athletic forms, and practice changes. Please check the website on a regular basis. The coaches and the athletic director are responsible for maintaining and updating the athletic website. It is the parents’ and the students’ responsibility to regularly monitor these updates.

In addition, each coach pledges to adhere to the athletic (school and conference) rules and regulations and shall do his/her utmost best to develop each player’s ability to his/her potential on (and off) the field and the courts. This includes teaching the fundamentals of each sport to enable the player the best chance of success, and striving to be fair in the assessment of a player’s ability to contribute to the team. We will not only try to develop the student-athlete physically, but will try to strengthen his/her character as well.


Athletic competition and sportsmanship at The O'Neal School is guided by the following ideals:


Athletes live clean and play hard. They play for the love of the game.
Athletes win without boasting. They lose without excuses. They never quit.
Athletes respect the officials and accept their decisions without questions.
Athletes never forget that they represent their school, their coach, themselves and their families.
All in all, The O'Neal School Student-Athlete is asked and expected to "Play for the Shirt" and to play with PassionResilience and a strong will to Compete


Coaches inspire in their players a love for the game and the desire to win.
Coaches teach that it is better to lose fairly than to win unfairly.
Coaches exemplify sportsmanship and respect for officials and opponents.
Coaches are the type of people they want their players to be.


The O'Neal School will not tolerate at its contests any spectator, either a student or adult, whose behavior is disrespectful toward players, officials, coaches, or other spectators.

The O'Neal School will not permit any type of spectator behavior that either detracts from the proper conduct of the game or disadvantages a player or team.


List of 2 items.

  • Academic Credit

    The O'Neal School requires each student to earn Physical Education credits for graduation. Please refer to the student handbook for details.
  • Admissions Fees

    Admission at regular contests is free to O’Neal Falcon Club members, Students, Faculty and Staff.

    Fees are required of all other spectators to help cover the cost of individual game management such as officials, maintenance.

    Regular Season and TRI-TAC Tournament Game Fees: (Varsity and JV) 
    Adults $5.00
    Students $2.00

    Regular Season/SEMSAC Tournament Game Fees: ( Middle School Games)
    Adults $4.00
    Students $2.00

    NCISAA State Championships:
    Depends on the sport: Check the site

    *Please note: Conference and State Tournament games are not covered by Falcon Club Membership* 


List of 6 items.

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

    All student-athletes expecting to participate in NCAA Athletics must meet freshman eligibility standards established by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

    Playing in college can be a very rewarding experience. It can also be very a challenging one where the students involved must be extremely responsible and pro-active in gathering the information they need to try out and participate. In order to play athletics in college, especially a Division I or II school, the student-athlete needs to fill out a core class worksheet and register with the NCAA Eligibility Center online at

    NCAA Athletic Scholarship Information:
    Seminars are held throughout the country for student-athletes and their parents to explain the procedure for obtaining an athletic scholarship. The NCAA Guide for the College Bound student Athlete is available online at
  • North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA)

    The O’Neal School is a member of the NCISSA. There are approximately 90 schools in the association which is divided into four sections; 1A-(0-100) high school students. 2A (101-200), 3A (201-300) and 4A (301 and above). At the current time the O’Neal School is competing in the 2A division where we have been since 2001-02 school year.
  • TRI-TAC/SEMSAC Conference

    The O’Neal School's Varsity and JV teams are members of the Triangle Triad Athletic Conference (TRI-TAC).

    Our Middle School teams are members of the South East Middle School Athletic Conference (SEMSAC).

    The O'Neal School
    3300 Airport Road
    Southern Pines, NC  28387
  • NCISAA Eligibility

    To be eligible to participate in interscholastic varsity competition during the regular season, as well as in state championship play-offs, students must be:

    • Enrolled in grades 7-12.
    • Individual conferences have the right to further restrict eligibility.
    • In addition, no player shall have reached his/her 19th birthday on or on or before August 1, of the current year.
    • The player must be a full-time student. The student must be successfully progressing toward graduation with the expectation of meeting all graduation requirements.
  • Academic Eligibility

    The O’Neal School hopes that participation in our athletic program will enhance the athletes overall experience while at the school. Participation in athletics does not lessen a student’s academic responsibility. Part of being a student athlete is learning to balance the load between academics and athletics. The time commitment involved in many of our programs is considerable. Students need to budget their time, sharpen their study skills and fulfill the responsibility to their team as well as their academics.

    Athletes traveling to an away game should turn in homework and get assignments for the next day before leaving school. They are expected to be fully prepared for all class activities the next day, including tests.

    Students must be signed in to school by 10:10 in order to participate that day in an athletic event or other extracurricular activity. (Medical appointments are the exception to this stipulation.)

    If a case arises where a student’s Division Head, Teacher, Parent and or coach feel it would be beneficial for the student to restrict their involvement in games and/or practice for academic reasons, it will be arranged for a period of time without penalty. By using this policy, decision will be made to suit what is best for the student.
  • NCISAA Ejection Policy

    If any player is ejected for any contest, they will not be allowed to participate in the next scheduled contest but may sit on the bench. If any NCISAA coach is ejected from any contest, they may not attend the next scheduled contest. If the same player is ejected a second time for many contest, they will not be allowed to participate in the next two-scheduled contest but may sit on the bench. If the same player is ejected from any contest for a third time, they will not be able to participate in or attend any sport until the beginning of the next school year.

    Penalties are cumulative from sport to sport and from sport season to sport season, but not academic year to academic year. Ejections in the last game of the season carry over to the next sport season in which the individual participates that year. Conferences may choose to enforce amore stringent code of conduct in regards to this rule.

    Any form of hazing or bullying is unacceptable and may result in suspension or dismissal from the team.

    HAZING: Any actions involving harassment, abuse, or humiliation of a member of an O'Neal Student Athlete at any level.

    BULLYING: The intentional act of aggression that is meant to harm a person either physically or psychologically.


List of 16 items.

  • Accidents/Injuries

    All injuries must be reported the Athletic Director and Head Coach immediately!!
    The O’Neal offers a secondary coverage. Claims must first be submitted to the parent or guardian’s primary insurance carrier. An accident report must be on file within 72 hours with the business office. (Sandee Tompkins, ext. 128)
    Part A: School report must be completed by the Head Coach.
    Part B: “Statement of Parent or Guardian” must be completed by the student’s legal guardian. The benefit period for eligible expenses is 52 weeks from the date of the accident, except dental, which is 104 weeks.
  • Athletic Levels

    Middle School teams are comprised of students grades sixth through eighth depending on the sport.. Rosters may be limited at the school’s discretion to coachable numbers in all Middle School sports. Middle School Teams sponsored are; volleyball, baseball, boys' and girls' basketball, soccer and co-ed golf.

    In addition, seventh and eighth graders may tryout for Junior Varsity and Varsity team sports.

    The O'Neal School believes that in most cases it is in the best interest of sixth and seventh grade students to play on a Middle School team when provided.

    Junior Varsity: As The O’Neal School grows; we will try to develop Junior Varsity programs as dictated by student demands. Depending on the sport, Junior Varsity teams may be comprised of both Middle School (seventh and eighth) and/or Upper School students ( ninth through twelth). The Junior Varsity teams as with Middle School teams may have roster limitations.

    Varsity: At the Varsity level, the commitment is to put the best teams possible on the field, court, or in the pool. The Varsity teams may have roster limitations when appropriate and will be comprised of student athletes in grades nine through twelve, with participation exceptions indicated below.

    When Varsity teams lack numbers due to illness, injury or attrition, coaches may request players from our Junior Varsity Teams to help fill the roster. These requests must be approved by the Athletic Director and the players parent's.
  • Athletic Teams and Seasons

    Fall Sports
    Varsity Soccer, James Franklin
    Varsity Cross Country, Matt McMurray
    MS Soccer, David Williamson

    Varsity Cross Country, Matt McMurray
    Varsity Volleyball, Worthy McFadyen
    J.V. Volleyball, Kelley Adams
    MS Volleyball, Marie-Luise Brase
    Varsity Tennis, Lauren Davis
    Varsity Golf, Buck Warren

    Winter Sports
    Varsity Swimming, Jen Schmitz
    Varsity Basketball, Jeff Haarlow 
    MS Basketball, Germann Bostic, Matt Cheney

    Varsity Swimming, Jen Schmitz
    Varsity Basketball, Marie-Luise Brase
    MS Basketball: Matt McMurray

    Spring Sports
    Varsity Baseball, Sam Amato
    MS Baseball: Sam Amato
    Varsity Tennis, Koley Keel
    Varsity Golf, Matt Vick
    Track, Matt McMurray
    MS Golf, 

    Varsity Soccer, James Franklin 
    Track, Matt McMurray
    MS Soccer, David Williamson
    MS Golf: 
  • Awards

    Each varsity athlete who completes the season in good standing will receive a varsity letter and sport pin in their first year. Every succeeding year they will receive a service bar. Additional honors may come from All Conference and All State selections.

    Each Middle School athlete will receive a certificate of participation at the end of the year.
  • Communication Plan

    A vital component of The O’Neal School’s athletic experience is empowering our student-athletes with self-advocacy tools that will help them in life after O’Neal. With that in mind, the following communication plan has been established. This provides consistent opportunities for our student-athletes to learn and engage in the process of self-advocacy when questions and or issues arise related to their student-athlete experience.
      Step 1 - student-athletes need to approach their coach and discuss their questions student-athlete to coach. We ask our student-athletes to try to work through questions and try to find a solution themselves
      Step 2 - IF the problem persists, the parent/guardian AND student-athlete work together with the coach in order to find a solution – understanding, that the student-athlete continues to be the person asking the questions
      Step 3 - The Athletic Director can help find a solution after step 1 and step 2 have been attempted. The coach, athlete, and parent will be involved in such a meeting so we can help our student-athletes to our fullest – understanding, that the student-athlete continues to be the person asking the questions
  • Equipment and Uniforms/Dress Code

    Each student athlete is responsible for his or her equipment and uniforms. Uniforms should be washed in cold water and hung up to dry or dried on a gentle warm or cool air cycle. Student athletes will be charged the full replacement cost for any uniform that is lost or damaged.

    *Personal Equipment: Athletes may incur the cost of warm-ups, team shoes, etc. Coaches must notify Athletic Director and parents of their request in writing before any order is submitted.

    Dress for all away games will be neat and casual. No blue jeans, t-shirts, cut off shorts, etc. Some teams may choose to dress in their uniforms or warm-ups before leaving.
  • Inclement Weather

    In the event of a school closing due to inclement weather, all practices and games shall be cancelled. On days where there is heavy rain or snow and school is in session, cancellations will be communicated by the coach and or by the athletic department.
  • OFF-Season workouts/practices

    Off-season skill development sessions are allowed in accordance with NCISAA Guidelines. These workouts may be done during “non dead” periods. Dead periods where coaches may not hold practices are as follows; in the fall-date of the first fall practice until the Tuesday after Labor day; in the winter-first weekday of November until the end of Thanksgiving break; in the spring-third Monday in February until after spring break.
  • Parent-Coach Relationships

    Parents and coaches should make every effort to communicate often and properly with each other. A positive collaborative relationship between parents and coaches is obviously in the best interest of the student-athlete and the team's success.

    Please follow our Communication Plan (found in the tab above) iif questions of issues arise in your respective sport.
  • Physical Exam

    Every student athlete is required to have a current physical exam on file with the athletic office before they can participate on a school athletic team.
  • Selection of Teams and Expectations of Athletes

    At the Middle School level (6th, 7th and 8th) our teams and number of participants varies in size from year to year and sport to sport. Team sizes may be limited and tryouts will determine who earns opportunites to particpate.

    Junior Varsity teams are composed of students in grades seven through twelth depending on the sport.

    Varsity teams are composed of students in grades seven through twelve. Due to the specialized and individual nature of some sports, e.g., swimming, tennis, golf, and cross-country, is such that a seventh or eighth grader may participate on the varsity level. Decisions regarding the placement of younger athletes on other varsity teams will be based on what is the best interest of the individual athletes.

    Varsity athletes are allowed a “one week” window to try a sport. If the student decides to quit a sport during the “one week” grace period, the student may join another sport. The student must join the new sport by the next school day.

    Students are required to be in attendance and practices and contests when the season begins. 


    Each coach is responsible for establishing guidelines and expectations for their team in regard to practice, travel, etc. The O’Neal School general expectations for all athletes at all levels that are expected from the coaching staff are:

    • Punctuality and preparedness for all practices and games.
    • Ongoing responsibility for academic work, particularly in cases where classes are missed for game participation.
    • Dedication to their team and teammates. Athletes choosing to play an additional sport outside of the school during the same season are expected to honor the school's practice and game schedule first. Dedication to the practice schedule includes early August for fall sports, winter break for our winter sports and the second week of spring break for our spring sports.
    • Desire to improve skills and knowledge of the sport(s).
    • Self-discipline; athletes will have to sacrifice time and energy for team goals.
    • A willingness to work hard and be attentive in practices.
    • Ongoing responsibility to represent The O’Neal School at all times in a dignified and positive way.
    • Sportsmanship before, during and after games; win with class; lose with class.
    • Student-athlete will conduct himself/herself according to The O’Neal School Handbook’s rules and procedures. All athletes will display a positive attitude, good sportsmanship and respect toward their coaches, fellow team members and opponents. A conference may be called and disciplinary action taken if your have been disrespectful to teachers, coaches, teammates, classmates, opponents or spectators.
  • The O'Neal School expectations of Coaches

    Athletic Staff: The O’Neal School coaches have done an outstanding job of fielding competitive teams both in the conference and state level. The O’Neal Athletic Program has been awarded the Wachovia Cup for 1991, ’93,’94, ’95, ’96, ’97, 00 and 2001, for being the most successful athletic program in 1A State Independent School competitions. Our coaching staff is made up of faculty and non-faculty coaches.

    At The O’Neal School, the title "Coach" is one that commands respect both on and off the field, court, or pool. Coaching is an awesome responsibility. At The O’Neal School, we try to provide a coaching staff that is knowledgeable and effective, and has both the team and its individual member’s best interest at heart.

    A coach is a teacher first. All good teachers are concerned that their students are prepared and perform well. Coaches have the additional opportunity of working with those, who along with the coach, choose to sacrifice time, effort and energy in pursuit of excellence and team goals.
  • The O'Neal School expectations of Parents

    If a student-athlete has specific questions or concerns about a sport, the student-athlete should speak first to the Head Coach of that sport. This policy will allow the student-athlete to engage in the process of self-advocacy.

    Please follow our Communication Plan (found in the tab above) iif questions of issues then continue in your respective sport. 

    In the event that a generous individual approaches a coach with the desire to make a monetary gift to a particular sports program and/or give an item to a particular sport the coach will refer the person to the Athletic Director. The Athletic Director will then confer with the Headmaster and they will make a decision in this matter.
  • The O'Neal School expectations of student-athletes

    In general, participation in a sport at The O'Neal School is a privilege, and each participant must abide by the rules and guidelines in The O'Neal School Handbook and Athletic Department policies aswell. Requirements may also include specific rules coaches have established concerning their specific sport.

    If a student-athlete is in violation of School or Athletic Department policies, the Head Coach and Athletic Director will discuss the issue and a decision about discipline or continued participation will be made. The Head Coach is the final authority in all decisions about participation in a particular sport. If continued participation is an issue, parents will be present to hear the decision. Student confidentiality will be respected and the student-athlete will be informed in private to keep his/her dignity intact.

    Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco will not be tolerated. Consequences for abuse of this rule may be found in the student handbook. Disciplinary action may also be taken at the discretion of the coach.

    Profanity: All players will refrain from using offensive language on and off the field and courts. If profanity becomes an issue, the coach will take disciplinary action as deemed necessary.
    Conduct and Respect: A student-athlete will conduct himself/herself according to The O'Neal School Handbook rules and procedures. All athletes will display a positive attitude and good sportsmanship toward fellow team members and opponents. Coaches and student-athletes should have mutual respect for one another. Praise your opponents and play beyond your ability. Student-athletes must remember that they are not only representing themselves, they are representing The O’Neal School.

    The coaches at The O'Neal School expect you to conduct yourself as a student-athlete. This means that you are to follow school rules and procedures while attending class, as well as on the field or court. You are to act properly in class, showing courtesy and respect to teachers, administrators, and classmates. A conference may be called and disciplinary action may be taken if you have been disrespectful to coaches, teachers, opponents, sponsors, teammates, or classmates.

    Attendance: Student-athletes will not miss class, practice, or games and should always be on time. Make every attempt not to schedule appointments or discretionary trips during practice and game/match times. If an athlete must miss school due to an illness, and appointment, or a scheduled trip, make sure the coach is informed in advance.

    * Athletes will not be disciplined for missing practice for legitimate, justified academic purposes. Understanding that this policy can be abused, the Athletic Director and the appropriate Division Heads will determine valid excuses. Head Coaches will always be flexible, especially if it pertains to the student’s need for academic help. Students, coaches and teachers will communicate and reach equitable decisions. Again, student-athletes are not to be disciplined for missing practice due to the need for academic assistance.

    Committing to a sport: If an athlete fails to complete an entire season of a sport, he/she may not receive credit for that sport and may not participate in another sport until the prior season has ended.
  • Transportation to Events

    All student athletes must travel with the team on transportation provided by the school. Arrangements can be made for those athletes who live outside Southern Pines. In such situations where an athlete will not be traveling with the team for any part or the entire trip, written permission must be given to the Athletic Director prior to the day of the contest.

    * When teams play away we adjust departure times to minimize loss of class time. Following the game the team will usually stop to eat. At that time, the players will call their parents to let them know when the team will return. Parents are expected to be at the school when the team returns. When appropriate, students who live in Sanford and Troy will be dropped off there so their parents won't have to make the drive down to Southern Pines and back.

    Varsity teams in the fall season typically begin practice on August 1. For winter sports, on or around October 28. Spring sports begin on or around February 20. All candidates for these teams are expected to be enrolled in school and have a current physical form in the Athletic Office and be present on the first day of practice. Any conflicts should be cleared with the coach before that day. Failure to do so may diminish their chance to play that season.
  • Two sport participation

    Student athletes may typically participate in only one O’Neal sponsored sport per season. However, exceptions occasionally do occur at the discretion of the school.

    Student-athletes who wish to participate on outside teams while also playing on an O’Neal team are expected to honor the school's practice and game schedule over the outside activity.
The athletic guide is the combined effort of the Headmaster, Division Heads, Athletic Director and Coaches. It is our wish that this guide will communicate to parents and our student athletes, important information about our interscholastic athletic program.

As always, if there are any questions about our athletic program you can reach me at school.

James Franklin
Director of Athletics and Transportation Services
910/692-6920 x-124
Fax 910/692-6930
The O’Neal School Athletic Program
Serving Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Whispering Pines, Sanford, West End, Aberdeen, and areas surrounding Moore County, NC.

The O’Neal School
3300 Airport Road
Southern Pines, NC 28387

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