Isaac Newton Christian Academy to wade into waters of interscholastic athletics

It will be cross country, bowling and golf in 2017-18, with more to come later

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Craig Schultz has a vision of a full high-school athletics program, a packed gymnasium and conference affiliation.

For now, though, baby steps.

Isaac Newton Christian Academy will begin its second year as a K-12 school in the fall, though it will actually be more like K-10.

It also will become a member of the Iowa High School Athletic Association.

“We’re excited about it,” said Schultz, the acting athletics director (Amy Bautista will take on those duties in the fall).

Formerly a K-8 school, Isaac Newton expanded its curriculum to include a high school last year. The graduating class will be in 2020.

Schultz said there were eight freshmen enrolled for the 2016-17 school year.

“We’re starting small, so we can focus on the sports that we can field, and give good individual attention,” Schultz said.

Isaac Newton will field cross country, bowling and golf teams for the upcoming school year.

The school is located at 1635 Linmar Drive NE, and its nickname/mascot is the Patriots.

“The tradition the Academy is establishing,” according to the INCA website, “is to glorify God by winning with honor and losing with grace.

“We desire to win, but only if in doing so, we honor God. Such a tradition is worthy of the best efforts of all concerned.”

Schultz said that most classes through the elementary and middle school have 20-25 kids, and he expects the athletics programs to begin to blossom in 2018-19.

“This year’s (incoming) eighth-grade class, there’s a whole core of sports-minded kids that want to stay here for high school,” he said.

“The hope is that we’ll have a full list of sports programs. I don’t know if we have the facilities for a football program, but with basketball, volleyball and soccer as our main core sports, that’s where we’re aiming.”

The school has a new, regulation-sized gymnasium that seats about 400.

“It’s super nice,” Schultz said. “Once we got it sanded down and put a big Patriot head at center court, that got everyone excited about the possibilities.”

Isaac Newton will become the third private school in Cedar Rapids to be sanctioned by the IHSAA, and eventually the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.

Xavier High School was formed in 1998 in the merger of Regis and LaSalle. Cedar Valley Christian has had sanctioned sports since 2011.

Schultz said Isaac Newton “talked about” sharing with Cedar Valley or another Metro school, but “for now, we’re going to go out alone.”

He also said that once the programs grow, the school intends to apply for conference membership.

“The Tri-Rivers would make the most sense,” he said.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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