Mount Saint Charles to Join New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC)

 About Mount Joining NEPSAC

On November 21,  2023, Mount Saint Charles, a 100 year old college-prep Catholic school, announced it will join the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC), effective at the start of the 2024-2025 academic year.  The NEPSAC is an association of accredited independent and faith-based schools across New England. You can read the announcement here.

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the transition below.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Mount’s Transition to the NEPSAC

 

Why are we joining the NEPSAC?

  • Mount evaluated the trajectory for RIIL sports in the future and wants to stay ahead of that curve in a highly competitive private school landscape.  
  • Lack of flexibility and autonomy in the RIIL rules that primarily govern public schools
  • To attract and retain students

 

Why was the decision to join the NEPSAC made now?

  • The NEPSAC governing board recently approved Mount’s application and this will allow Mount to begin scheduling. 

 

Will membership in the NEPSAC cause tuition to rise dramatically?

  • No.  Mount has no plans to dramatically raise tuition and the 2024-2025 tuition was set before the decision from NEPSAC was made with less than a 3% increase. 
  • While many schools in the new league have a higher price point than Mount, tuition has no correlation to NEPSAC membership and Mount will continue to offer a prep athletic experience at a Catholic school price.
  • We have a long term commitment to ensuring affordable tuition rates
  • Tuition assistance programs will continue to ensure that the school is affordable and accessible to a wider range of students.  

 

What is the financial impact of joining NEPSAC?

  • Some new mini buses will be leased
  • Some athletic budget increases
  • Mount has a long and strong history of educating the whole child, specifically when it comes to robust academic and co-curricular experiences. Budgetary allocations will continue to reflect these priorities and we will continue our work to minimize the impact on tuition. 

 

When will Mount begin competing in the NEPSAC?

  • Fall of 2024.

 

How will this better my student athlete’s experience at Mount?

  • Raises the profile of the school in the eyes of college & universities
  • Increased participation opportunities
  • Higher game caps each season
  • Increased competitive level
  • Ability to field multiple varsity teams
  • Ability to align a sport annually based on the competitive level of the team
  • Increased exposure to regional college coaches
  • Some sports play by college sport rules
  • Chance to play at great league facilities
  • Post graduates can play
  • Middle Schoolers have an opportunity to tryout for varsity
  • Transfer rules are more understanding when not coming from a current NEPSAC school
  • Ability to create our own leagues
  • Chance to be New England Champion and all league recognitions
  • Increased access to showcases and tournaments

 

Will it be more competitive for my child to make a team at Mount?

  • NEPSAC will provide Mount students the opportunity to compete against a larger pool of schools and will allow us to find appropriate levels of competition for every sport.  
  • Membership in the NEPSAC will not have any short-term impact on the competitiveness to make a current Mount team.  
  • As we have for many years, Mount will continue to offer at least one no-cut sport each athletic season and we plan on adding sports, including our recently added wrestling program.
  • Our goal is to increase participation levels and opportunities while creating a no-cut culture of participation. 
  • Additionally, we will maintain as many levels (varsity, junior varsity, freshman, middle school) as interest allows, specific to each sport. This may include multiple varsity level teams when possible.  

 

What is the competitive balance in the NEPSAC?

  • NEPSAC is known for quality athletics across many sports and many levels of leagues. 
  • Classifications range from Class AAA through D
  • Mount has built a solid foundation for our program and we believe we are well-positioned for continued success in the NEPSAC.
  • Our first year in the NEPSAC, we will play an independent cross-league schedule to better determine which league (or leagues) our teams are best suited for.  We will be eligible to play in the playoffs and for championships in our first year.

 

What about the average student-athlete that just wants to play a sport in high school for fun and a little exercise?

  • One of our goals with NEPSAC is to grow access and participation in sport, not limit it.

 

Will Mount athletics compete in playoffs and for state titles?

  • By joining the NEPSAC, which is regional rather than state-based, Mount varsity teams will compete for New England Championships and various other regional league and tournament titles. 
  • In addition, the flexibility of scheduling will allow Mount athletes to participate in more tournaments when feasible.  
  • Mount athletics will no longer be eligible for state-based titles that are managed by the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.
  • All NEPSAC teams will be published by Mount and in the newspapers.  

 

Who might our competitor schools be in the NEPSAC?

  • Mount is eager to build relationships with many schools both throughout New England and regionally.  
  • Locally, we will look to compete with schools within a 25 mile radius. 
  • During our first year, a cross-league schedule will help us and NEPSAC determine which league (or leagues) our teams are best suited for and which schools we compete against. This will create new opportunities for friendly rivalries.
  • Mount will continue to schedule non-league games and scrimmages with local teams in the RIIL, as well as other Brothers of the Sacred Heart Schools in the NEw England area.

 

How will this impact middle school athletics?

  • Middle school athletic programs will continue to participate in the Catholic Athletic League, RIPCOA, and other independent leagues as they do currently.  
  • There will be an opportunity for increased competition with schools in the NEPSAC
  • Middle school students will also be able to try out for varsity and junior varsity programs.    

 

Will Mount students be required to participate in athletics?

  • No.  Participation in athletics at Mount will remain optional. 
  • Athletics is just one part of Mount Saint Charles’ culture, and while we encourage all students to take advantage of everything Mount has to offer, we also want students to pursue their individual interests like fine and performing arts, service, leadership, and extracurriculars.

 

How many schools are in the NEPSAC?

  • The NEPSAC has approximately 179 member schools. 

 

Will Mount’s academic calendar change?

  • No.  There are no plans to change the annual or daily calendar in the short term. 
  • Mount will still have February and April vacation.
  • Mount will study impacts, if any, over the first few years to the schedule and make recommendations if necessary.

 

What will travel be like?

  • Travel to athletic competitions is anticipated to be similar to current schedules.
  • Mount teams currently travel an hour or more 4-5 times a season when they play North or South Kingstown, Portsmouth, Westerly, Tiverton, Chariho, and others.
  • Longer rides to some games may occur rarely, these games will more often be scheduled on a Saturday

 

How does this benefit my child post graduation?

  • NEPSAC membership will bolster the profile of MSC in the eyes of colleges and universities
  • Increased access to college recruiters in a greater geographical area of  exposure
  • Student athletes will be familiar with NCAA rules in the sports that utilize them in the NEPSAC

 

What will happen to our current coaches?

  • Our current coaching staff will continue to be part of the future of Mount sports
  • We anticipate growing our coaching staff as we further take advantage of the opportunities NEPSAC has to offer.

 

What other sports might be added?

 

  • Mount will consider adding the following NEPSAC sanctioned sports based on interest in the future: squash, field hockey, skiing.   
  • We will also consider adding club sports based on interest like:  flag football, bowling, fencing, crew, rugby, fishing, etc.