Athletic Department

The Athletic Department would like to welcome you to our community. We appreciate you taking the time to visit our site. We hope that you have some time to learn more about our program. IACS Athletics believes are many benefits to participating in sports as a youth. These include, but are not limited to: increased health, an increase in coordination, strength, endurance, speed, flexibility, and agility. Just as important is the role that athletics can play in the development of values, principles, friendships, fun, entertainment, excitement, and increased confidence.  When children are exposed to athletics in a positive way they will experience all of these benefits to the fullest. However, if children are exposed to negative experiences while participating in youth sports, it is very unlikely that they will have the opportunity to acquire these benefits. In fact, these negative experiences have been leading to an alarmingly high dropout rate for children in athletics. We believe that many of these negative experiences in youth sports stem from unrealistic goals set forth by departments and coaches. The failure to take into account children’s biological and mental developmental ages when designing programs leads to programs that end up hurting children’s development rather than helping. At the middle school level, we strive to focus on the complete student-athlete and not just any one aspect of their athletic or personal development. 

We are very excited to welcome back current athletes this season and are also looking forward to meeting the new members of our program. As our program grows, we continually welcome and encourage feedback. Please feel free to email either our Athletic Department at or our Athletic Director, Nolan McKinnon, at In addition, all student-athletes, as well as their families, will receive an anonymous survey at the end of every season. We strive to make our program a positive addition to our athlete’s lives and your feedback is essential to our growth and development. 


Middle School League Overview 

Current the majority of IACS sports teams are members of the Ecumenical Athletic Association (EAA). The Lowell Ecumenical Basketball League originated in 1968. Over the years more sports were added and the Ecumenical Athletic Association was formed. The League established a Board of Directors in 1986. Officers are elected to a two-year term. The Ecumenical Athletic Association consists of parochial and public schools from the greater Lowell area. The main objective of the EAA is to develop an athletic program for young men and women in middle school, which encourages good sportsmanship and promotes academic achievement and school spirit. With the assistance of administrators, coaches and advisers, the EAA also works to establish a strong relationship in the Greater Lowell Community.


  Current Member Schools

Chelmsford Catholic Collaborative, Chelmsford

Collegiate Charter of School of Lowell, Lowell

Community Christian Academy, Lowell

Hellenic American Academy, Lowell

Immaculate Conception School, Lowell

Innovation Academy Charter School, Tyngsboro

Justus Richardson Middle School, Dracut 

Lowell Catholic, Lowell

Lowell Community Public Charter School, Lowell

Notre Dame Academy, Tyngsboro

Saint Louis School, Lowell

Saint Michael School, Lowell

St. Patrick School, Lowell

Ste Jeanne d’Arc School, Lowell 

Athletic Team Awards

  • The Most Improved Award

    This award is received by the student-athlete who, in the opinion of the coach and other team staff, has shown the greatest amount of improvement on the team. This can be defined as improvement within a single season or from one season to the next. Individuals who receive this award have demonstrated a willingness to learn and grow as an athlete and person. They have exhibited leadership qualities and excellent team spirit. They are student-athletes who always have a positive attitude and excellent attendance at practices and games. This award will be given to student-athletes who have improved as an athlete, a student, and person, or any combination of the three. 

  • The Coaches' Award

    The Coaches’ Award recipients are chosen solely by their coaches. The criteria for this award is highly dependent upon the coaches of a particular team, but usually included in this criteria are dedication, team spirit, leadership, attitude, effort, performance, and attendance. Recipients of this award serve as a blueprint and model to their fellow team members in terms of the expectations of their coaches. 

  • The Sportsmanship Award

    Recipients of this award are student-athletes who have demonstrated the ability to control their emotions and exhibited positive attitudes towards their team, coaches, and opponents, win or lose. These student-athletes are not expected to be void of emotion, but rather to manage and focus the strong emotions that athletics inevitably evoke in a positive way. In addition, these athletes demonstrate values such as fairness, civility, honesty, respect and responsibility.

  • The Hawk Award

    “The Hawk” Award replaced the Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in the fall of 2012. To many, the MVP award had unfortunately become viewed as simply the individual on the team who has the best athletic skill and ability. However, this is not always the case. A MVP must also demonstrate sportsmanship, leadership, academic dedication, athletic dedication, and be committed to improving every aspect themselves as well as be committed to improving all those around them. The MIAA mission statement is as follows:

    The mission of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association is to serve member schools and the maximum number of their students by providing leadership and support for the conduct of interscholastic athletics which will enrich the educational experiences of all participants. The MIAA will promote activities that provide  lifelong and  life-quality learning experiences to students while enhancing their achievement of educational goals.

    Nowhere in this mission statement is it stated that a school should be actively trying to produce professional level athletes, nor does it even place an emphasis on winning. While, of course both the MIAA and IACS do everything we can to develop and nurture athlete’s skills and abilities, both institutions also truly believe that athletics is an opportunity for all students to further their education. In the correct environment, athletics ultimately will help develop a well-rounded healthy young adult ready for all the world has to offer. This program is committed to athletic excellence but not at the expensive of academic excellence or behavioral excellence. We value all aspects of the student athlete equally, and all of these areas are taken into account when choosing the winner of The Hawk Award, and not just on one’s athletic skills and performance.

Athletic Department Awards

  • The Citizenship Award

    Citizenship is defined as the character of an individual viewed as a member of society. To show good citizenship is to show dedication to one’s duties and obligations as well as to themselves, their team, school, and their greater community. When one demonstrates exemplary citizenship, they are displaying to the outside world how special our school community is. They are acting as an ambassador for Innovation and showing the larger community our values. These values include benevolence, compassion, kindness, commitment, and ambition but not without the consideration of others. A recipient of this award demonstrates determination and devotion to success while at the same time empathy for all both inside and outside of our community.

  • The Scholar Athlete Award

    Innovation Athletics has a strong passion for athletics and we work very hard to bring athletic opportunities to our athletes. While athletics can open many doors for individuals, the pursuit of knowledge is an area that has no limitations and can take one far more places in this world than athletics. It is our hope that all athletes use this athletic program to help develop into well-rounded individuals with both a desire to win and a desire to learn. We understand that juggling athletics and academics is no easy task and we also know that at times it can seem like an impossible task. Our hope is that students will use the experience of dealing with these competing pressures (academics and athletics) to help prepare them for the hardships that they will certainly face in life. When students are able to achieve in both athletics and academics, they will understand that the type of effort required to excel in the classroom is the same required to excel in competition. The skills needed to balance both school and sports are skills that must be practiced throughout life. This award goes to individuals who demonstrate a beginning mastery of this juggling act. Recipients must have a high level of dedication to their team as well as one of the highest GPAs for the season. Our IACS Scholar Athlete must always demonstrate dedication to both team and school. 

  • The Dedicated Athlete Award

    To succeed in life one must fully dedicate themselves to what they choose to do, regardless of what that might be. When an individual becomes a student-athlete, it is our expectation that they are making a full commitment to their school work as well as to the sport that you have chosen. It is this dedication, that when demonstrated by each and every student-athlete, creates a program of excellence that is admired by all. Without a high level of dedication, no such program will ever develop. The recipients of The Dedicated Athlete Award demonstrate dedication above and beyond that expected of their age. This dedication reaches beyond the seasons in which they participate, and the athlete has made their sport part of their year-round life. They have also demonstrated an understanding that their dedication must expand beyond their sport into other areas, including those that may affect their performance and eligibility.   

  • The Athlete of the Season Award

    All of these previous awards have highlighted different areas which help to shape a successful student-athlete. It is extremely difficult, especially at a young age, to demonstrate all of these attributes at once. To be considered a “complete athlete” one must be a scholar and a leader, one must possess a determination to be the best at everything they do and have an understanding that they should never view themselves as the best or be completely satisfied with their performances. Instead they should acknowledge that they must continually be improving and striving to reach to the next level of competition, whether that be middle school varsity or college teams. The Athlete of the Season recipients have shown by their athletic accomplishments, as well as their exemplary behavior within our community, that they have the ability to lead by example and serve as role models to their peers.

contact us