Circle athletics began in the early 90’s when several CCS dads started the first middle school basketball team at Circle. In the first few years the victories on the court were few and far between but the spirit of camaraderie was born and the boys were determined to improve. When the players reached high school, Dennis Wean assumed the coaching role and began to hone the team into a competitive group armed only with an outdoor court, the heart and dedication of the players, and the support of their families.
After playing an independent schedule for several years, Circle joined the Florida Christian Conference (FCC) in 1995. Circle’s five year membership in the FCC was highlighted by two varsity boys’ basketball state championships in 1998-99 and 2000-01, two boys’ varsity golf state runner-up finishes in 1999-2000 and 2000-01, and a boys’ junior varsity state championship in 1997- 98. The FCC membership was a positive experience for Circle athletics but was impractical for Circle families because of out of town games at so many distant schools.
For many years boys’ basketball was the only high school sport at Circle. Then in 1999 three programs were added: boys’ golf, girls’ basketball, and girls’ cheerleading. Sean Gillespie joined the Circle staff as the school’s first athletic director in September 2000. Under his leadership Circle joined the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) in the spring of 2001. FHSAA has provided local opponents at the highest level of competition. In the first year of FHSAA membership Circle established teams in boys’ soccer, girls’ volleyball, swimming and diving, girls’ tennis, and track and field. During the 2002-03 school year cross country and boys’ tennis were added.
Currently, Circle is a class 3A member of the FHSAA. Varsity sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field. Circle won back-to-back state championships in boys’ golf in 2007 and 2008, and again in 2014, along with state championships in girls’ golf in 2013, and state championships in girls cross country and girls bowling in 2015.
The purpose of athletics at Circle is to provide a context for students to use their God given talent in the forum of physical competition. While athletics chiefly cultivate the physical element, they also produce excellent opportunity and “teachable moments”, to build the mental, social, and spiritual areas. The intent is to use athletics to bring a well-rounded “Luke 2:52” experience to the student who participates.
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52 .
- To represent the person of Jesus Christ and his character in a genuine manner in the spirit and arena of athletic competition
- To provide students with the opportunity to discover and develop their physical skills through participation in structured and controlled athletic practices and competition
- To develop athletes who are playing for the glory of God, with discipline and self-controlled attitudes, and with passion out of love for God, their coach, and their teammates
- To challenge athletes to strive for excellence in all phases of life: respect for parents and family, commitment to academics, relationships with friends, and daily improvement in athletic skill
- To teach athletes the positive benefit and value of life long physical fitness, training, and competition as a means to care for the body – God’s temple
- To teach athletes about character growth and maturity and how they are affected by the experiences of winning, losing, and competition
- To assist parents by providing an environment that will strengthen and reinforce the investments that they are striving to make in the lives of their children
- To encourage and strengthen coaches while providing them with the opportunity to influence and teach others
- To cultivate a community of athletes and fans that will bring pleasure and enjoyment to the participants and will bring glory to God by earning the respect of those who observe their actions
The name “centurion” was suggested by former varsity basketball player, Brent Bond. Brent and his teammates were tired of being a “no name” team. The players wanted a name that portrayed a strong image but also had a solid spiritual connotation. The Roman soldier that Jesus commended in Luke 7:9 for his great faith met the criteria and the name was established. Circle players are to be strong, disciplined, under authority, and possessing great faith