School supplies, new clothes, and sports: September is back-to-school season for both academics and athletics in Inver Grove Heights.  Even if your school days are behind you, Simley High School’s athletic program offers a wide range of sports that Inver Grove Heights residents and visitors can support.

“We offer all the high school [fall] sports,” says Simley High School athletic director Will Short.  “Boys and girls soccer, football, girls tennis, cross country, girls volleyball, and girls swimming at The Grove.”

Photo Credit: Simley Athletics

Tryouts and practices started in August, and by September Simley teams are in full swing. Whether you’re interested in checking out a football, volleyball, or soccer game, watching a tennis match, or cheering on the athletes at a cross country or swim meet, a master schedule of Simley’s activities is available at the Metro East Conference website.  More information, including athletics news and photos, is available on the Simley athletics website.

Besides attending games, Short encourages the community to support the athletic program’s booster clubs.  “There’s one for each sport,” he explains.  “They allow us to do extra things for teams and programs.  [In addition to individuals], local businesses can provide support as well.”

Financial support from the booster clubs allows Simley teams to travel further to competitions, such as an overnight trip that the girls tennis team is making to northern Minnesota to compete against Hermantown and Duluth.  “It’s team bonding and an opportunity for good competition,” Short says.

Photo Credit: Simley Football

Booster clubs also fund specialty equipment that the regular school budget simply can’t afford, such as state-of-the-art helmets for the football team.  Plus, booster clubs subsidize replacement uniforms—the school’s budget allows for a seven-year uniform replacement cycle, and it can be tough to make clothing last that long given the wear and tear of competition.

To find information on the booster club for a particular sport, Short recommends doing a Google search (for example, “Simley High School football booster club”) since each organization maintains separate websites and Facebook pages.

Looking ahead, Short is excited and optimistic about the prospects for Simley’s fall teams, especially girls tennis. 

“They’re in a nice spot,” he explains.  “We had a good season last year, we were second in the conference.  All the players are returning, and I like how competitive they are.”

He notes that the volleyball and girls and boys soccer teams are always competitive, and the football team has a new coach that he’s enthusiastic about.

“And our numbers are up for cross country,” he notes.  “We were going through coaches, but this is our third year with our current coach.  We’re almost up to 30 runners, [and in the past] we were down to 11.  I’m excited about that resurgence.  Keep that Spartan pride up!”

Photo Credit: Simley Athletics

For a great place to stay after the big game, book a stay at one of Inver Grove Heights’ hotels. Inver Grove Height hotels are conveniently located to downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and offer complimentary parking, breakfast, and WiFi.  Book your room today!