Welcome to SJJ CYO Athletics

We are proud of our excellent CYO Boosters athletic program.  The goal of the CYO Boosters is to promote a positive athletic educational experience for the student-athlete.  Our goal is to nurture spiritual, physical, emotional, and social growth while encouraging individual and team skill development.

Sportsmanship and fair play are cornerstones of our program.  We work to develop our athletes’ character and to emphasize the importance of integrity, respect, humility, and accountability.

The Catholic Youth Organization endeavors to help young people be more Christ-like in the way they live. The CYO promotes participation and sportsmanship to foster the total development of participants and influence the formation of Christian values. The CYO serves the youth of the Diocese of Cleveland with the leadership necessary for the coordination and administration of athletic activities between members, which will provide equitable opportunities for participation, reduce the risks of participation and enhance the experiences of the young athlete.

Saint Joseph and Saint John Neumann parishes sponsor the following CYO athletic programs:


  • Flag Football, Grades 1-4
  • Tackle Football, Grades 5-8,
  • Boys and Girls Cross Country, Grades 2-8
  • Girls Volleyball, Grades 3-8
  • Cheerleading, Grades 2-8


  • Boys and Girls Basketball, Grades 3-8


  • Boys and Girls Track and Field, Grades 3-8


Athletic Boosters Fee: $80.00 per family. Covers all sports for the entire 2019-2020 school year. This is a one time per year fee. Not per athlete and not per sport. Grades 1 and 2 (Intramural) are exempt from the booster family fee.

Payments are to be mailed to:
SJJ Athletic Boosters
PO Box 360170
Strongsville, Ohio 44136

Late signups are not guaranteed a roster spot and will only be accepted if there is available capacity.

Contact Information

Craig Behm, Athletic Director


We are proud of our excellent CYO Boosters athletic program. The goal of the CYO Boosters is to promote a positive athletic educational experience for the student athlete.  Our goal is to nurture spiritual, physical, emotional, and social growth while encouraging individual and team skill development.  Sportsmanship and Fair Play are cornerstones of our program.  We work to develop our athletes’ character and to emphasize the importance of integrity, respect, humility, and accountability.

Spiritual Growth

CYO Athletics fosters the spiritual growth of youth by: 1) Providing athletic programs that promote Christian values; 2) Providing an avenue to be part of a team that builds a sense of community that nurtures and stresses positive social interaction; 3) Providing an opportunity to play in an atmosphere where not only skill development, but “sportsmanship and participation is the name of the game.”

Community Building

We believe in creating a positive community for our sports teams.  We work to build that community by having team masses, pep rallies where all players are recognized, a season kick-off social, family-centered tailgates, and beginning and concluding all games with everyone joining in prayer.

Sportsmanship & Character Development

To create a positive tone for all CYO athletics, each game must begin with a pre and post game prayer.  CYO sports do the prayers to foster fellowship, respect, sportsmanship, and dignity of the players, coaches, parents, and officials.

Pre-Game Prayer

Lord God, thank you for bringing us together in your name. We know you are with us now, as you promised. Please help the players, coaches and officials to play and be fair.  Keep us all safe from injury.  Thank you for giving us the chance to teach our faith to others by our actions. Amen.

Post-Game Prayer

Lord, we thank you for the opportunity and challenge of this game. You call us to compete well, finish the race and grow in our faith! Help us to remember we can do all things through You, who gives us strength. Amen.

Interested in coaching a Saints Joseph and John CYO athletic team?

Saint Joseph and Saint John Neumann parishes sponsor the following CYO athletic programs:

  • Cross Country
  • Flag Football
  • Tackle Football
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Track and Field
  • Cheerleading

Volunteer head and assistant coaches for these sports are often needed.  Before a volunteer can begin coaching, CYO and Booster Club bylaws require the following from each head or assistant coach:

  • Complete a parish coach’s application
  • Attend a Diocese abuse prevention program (Virtus)
  • Complete a finger printing process
  • Attend a CYO Coaches Development Program
  • Read and acknowledge the Diocese of Cleveland, “Policy For the Safety of Children in Matters of Sexual Abuse”

Each of the above requirements is explained in detail below:

Complete a parish coach’s application

The first step for a coaching candidate is to complete a coach’s application and submit it to the parish athletic director. Click on the links below to obtain and complete a coach application.   SJJ CYO Coach Application Form

Applications will be reviewed by the Saints Joseph and John Athletic Committee.  Applicants approved to coach a CYO athletic team for a given season will be notified by the athletic director prior to the seasonal start of the athletic program.

Attend an approved abuse prevention program (Virtus)

The Diocese of Cleveland requires that each volunteer complete a Virtus program before any interaction with children. The program promotes best practices in preventing wrongdoing and enabling “right doing.” Upon completion of the program, a copy of your certificate must be given to the Sts. Joseph and John school office. Save the original but give a copy to the athletic director or the sport commissioner. The schedule and registration for these sessions can be found at: www.virtus.org

Complete a fingerprinting process

Each volunteer is required to be fingerprinted in order to do a background check with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). Fingerprints and background reports must be on file at Sts. Joseph and John School prior to interaction with student-athletes. Fingerprints can be done at Corporate Screening Services. There are two advantages to having them done there. First, they offer the lowest cost ($22). Second, the fingerprints are done electronically with the results forwarded to our school within 24 hours. The fee will be reimbursed by the SJJ Booster Club. Submit your receipt to any board member. Call (440)816-0500 for an appointment. This to ensure that they are open on the weekend. Please mention that you are a Sts. Joseph & John coach. Corporate Screening Services is located at 16530 Commerce Court, Middleburg Hts. 44130. Commerce Court is located on the north side of West Sprague, just east of Pearl Rd.

Attend a CYO Coaches Development Program

The CYO Athletic office periodically conducts these sessions. Completion of this program is mandatory for all coaches prior to practices or games. The schedule for these sessions can be found at:


Your fee of $25 will be reimbursed by the Booster Club. Turn your receipt into the athletic director.

Read and acknowledge the Diocese of Cleveland, “Policy For The Safety of Children in Matters of Sexual Abuse”

If you have any questions or would like more information, contact Craig Behm at sjjcyo@gmail.com


We, the Sts. Joseph and John Booster Club, believe that the athletic programs sponsored by the Booster Club significantly influence the development of Christian values in all participants. These programs are a vital part of parish life for our youth, and are structured to support and promote the overall objectivesof the parishes. In addition to providing the development of athletic skill, our programs foster social interaction, self esteem and Christian attitudes. The youth of our parishes, not the athletic activity, is our key focus. By learning to set personal and team goals, and working to achieve these goals, our youth will learn that success is not measured by the final score, but by the efforts of individuals working together. Athletics also provide the opportunity to experience the rewards and frustrations of competition. Note: The guidelines documented in this handbook were developed by the Sts. Joseph and John Booster Club Board. The guidelines and rules are to be followed by all coaches, parents, and athletes. The Booster Club Board reserves the right to modify the guidelines as necessary to enhance the athletic program. ***Any reference to parent also applies to the child’s legal guardian.


A coach exerts considerable influence over their athletes by the very nature of their position. A coach’s success is measured by the development of the players not by the won/loss record. All coaches must be trained in coaching youth sports. Coaches are expected to maintain a professional relationship with administration, faculty, and officials. A successful coach will keep all players interested in the sport no matter what the individual skill levels. All coaches report to the athletic director. Listed below are the requirements for coaching:

  • Head coaches must be at least twenty-five years of age and assistant coaches must be at least eighteen years old.
  • All coaches must submit an application annually to the athletic director prior to coaching.
  • All coaches must be Virtues trained.
  • All coaches must be fingerprinted and background checked.
  • All coaches must be CYO certified.
  • Coaches are expected to understand the fundamentals of the sport they coach as well as abide by the rules.
  • Coaches must exhibit the highest level of conduct both on and off the playing surface.
  • Head coaches are responsible for the conduct and sportsmanship of assistant coaches, athletes, and spectators during practices, competitions, and in public when representing the parishes.
  • Head coaches are responsible for the organization and administration of the team under their supervision.
  • Head coaches are to review the preparticipation (physical) forms for completeness prior to allowing an athlete to participate in practice.
  • Coaches are responsible to wait and see that every athlete goes home before leaving the facility. Coaches also must be the first to arrive at the practice facility.
  • Coaches must hold a meeting with parents of the players on his/her team to explain the objectives and expectations for the team.
  • Coaches must have the preparticipation form (physical with medical release and liability waiver) for each player with them for each practice and game.
  • Persons who have not been officially approved by the athletic director and Board cannot coach, instruct or supervise athletes.
  • The head coach must ensure the return of all athletic equipment at the conclusion of the season.
  • The athletic director with approval from the Board may suspend or dismiss any coach for good and sufficient reason. Conditions warranting dismissal generally include behavior contrary to the Sts. Joseph and John Booster Club constitution or athletic handbook.

Participation and Eligibility

All participants must be enrolled at Sts. Joseph and John school or attend P.S.R. classes regularly. A PSR student must attend classes for the entire year to participate in CYO sports. If a student drops out of classes after his/her sport is completed they will not be able to participate in any CYO sport from the time of dropping out of P.S.R. unless re-instated by the athletic director or the Booster Club Board. P.S.R. students may not play for their public school team and CYO in the same sport. Participation in an athletic program is limited to grades five through eight for most sports. The only exceptions are for fourth graders in cross country, track, and volleyball. Participation is limited to one (1) sport per season. An athlete may not participate in two (2) CYO sports during the same season. No player is permitted to move up a grade level without the approval of the Booster Club Board. Students trying out for one (1) CYO team may not quit and try out for another CYO team. If a student is cut from one (1) team he/she may tryout for another CYO sport.

Participation Fees

The Booster Club Board has the right, at any time, to raise and/or lower family participation fees and per sport fees, as they see fit. In order to raise or lower fees, the Board must produce a written budget, and it must be voted on by all Board members. All families whose children are participating in the Sts. Joseph and John Athletic Program must pay the following: a single family annual membership fee; and a per sport/per athlete fee. Coaches may require additional fees to be paid from the parents. These fees are to be submitted to the parents via a written letter.

Sign Ups

Sign ups will be held before each sport season and will be posted in both church bulletins and on the Booster Club website prior to sign ups. A sign up form can also be obtained from the Athletic Director, Sports Commissioner, or at the Sts. Joseph and John school office. No sign ups will be accepted after the cut off date with the following possible exceptions: permission from the Booster Club Board or in the case of a transfer into either parish. Once an athlete signs up for a CYO team, their first commitment is to that particular team. Recreation leagues, travel leagues or other activities interfering with a CYO team must be kept at a minimum. Students participating in a CYO sport and a travel league team in the same sport must given written notification that the CYO sport will come before any other sports program scheduling conflict.

Physical Forms

All physical forms are to be dated after May 31 of the upcoming fall season. All physical forms (preparticipation forms) must be turned into the head coach of each team. The head coach reviews the forms for completeness prior to turning them into the athletic director. If the form is not complete, the head coach highlights the missing item(s) and returns it to the parent for completion. Upon acceptance of the form, the head coach keeps a copy for practices and games. Physical forms are due from parents on the first day of practice. Athletes may not practice without a completed and turned in physical form. The completion of the physical form and all fees associated with it are the complete responsibility of the parent. Any athlete who has not submitted the completed forms (Booster Club Form and CYO Preparticipation Form) and fees will not be permitted to practice or play in any games. The signed preparticipation form protects the Booster Club and coaches from any liability, so it is imperative to have the completed forms prior to an athlete practicing or playing in any games.

Team Selection

Fifth and sixth grade teams will be split evenly. In seventh and eighth grade where there are (2) or more teams, those teams will be determined by skill level. CYO fosters the splitting of stronger/weaker teams and compensates by providing divisions for each level. The “A” team coach will have first choice from the player pool. Player evaluations are done by a committee consisting of the “A” team coaches, sports commissioners, and the athletic director.


Coaches or a parent should remain at practice until all players are picked up. For opposite gender coaches ( male coach coaching girls) a mother of one of the athletes must attend practice and remain until all athletes are picked up afterwards. Players should be instructed to arrive at practice no earlier than fifteen (15) minutes before the starting time. Practice time is limited to no more than two (2) hours per practice during the regular season. Practice times should start and end at the scheduled times. Coaches are to instruct players of appropriate behavior at practice. Under no circumstances should the players be left without adult supervision. Anytime a coach cancels practice, the time slot should be made available to other coaches on a first come, first serve basis. No player, parent, or coach shall wear scuffing shoes on the gym floor. Athletes should not wear their practice shoes to practice. They should bring their practice shoes with them and change before practice begins.

Parental Responsibilities

  • Understand and abide by the rules and philosophy of CYO, the Booster Club and the coaches.
  • Arrange transportation to and from all practices and events for their child.
  • Pick up children promptly after practice.
  • Accept responsibility for timely fee payment and completion of all registration and physical forms associated with the athletic program.
  • Consider a child’s commitment to team practices and games when planning and scheduling personal and family calendars.
  • Properly maintain and return issued uniforms and equipment at the end of the season.
  • Attend all parent meetings as requested by the coaches or athletic director.
  • Understand that the coach reserves the right to not play an athlete based on unexcused absences from team activities or poor attitude.
  • Understand that inappropriate conduct or disrespect toward, athletes, officials, site personnel, and others involved in CYO athletics will not be tolerated.
  • Please do not interfere with the coaches during practices or games.

Player Responsibilities

  • Understand and abide by the rules and philosophy of CYO, the Booster Club, and the coaches.
  • Show respect at all times for the people, property, and equipment involved in the athletic program.
  • Always exhibit dignity and respect in both winning and losing.
  • Attend all practices and events for the duration of the season unless otherwise excused by the coaches.

Order of Communcation

Should issues arise during the season, please follow the following order of communication:

  1. Athlete
  2. Parent
  3. Coach
  4. Sports Commissioner
  5. Board Representative
  6. Athletic Director
  7. Board


Any coach wishing to purchase new uniforms, equipment, practice areas, or any other additional items must first seek approval from the Booster Club prior to their purchase. Any purchases prior to obtaining the Board approval becomes the sole financial responsibility of the coach and may not be reimbursed by the Board.


The success of our athletic program is dependent upon the program fundraisers, coaches, parental support, and various volunteers. Your support and participation is vital to the continued success of our program. There are many opportunities to help out including coaching, administrative support, concession stand work, fundraising, facilities setup, etc. Please contact the athletic director if you are interested in supporting the program.

CYO Athletic programs offer boys and girls in Catholic parishes, schools or institutions the following sports:

  • Fall: Cheerleading, Football, Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer, Girls Volleyball, Boys and Girls Cross Country
  • Winter: Grade school Boys and Girls Basketball, High School Basketball, Cheerleading
  • Spring: Baseball, Fast pitch Softball, Boys Volleyball, Track and Field, and Girls High School Volleyball

Youth in grades 4 – 8 are eligible to participate through their home parishes. Youth in grades 9 – 12 are eligible to participate in our high school basketball programs. (See CYO Player Eligibility Rules)

The Diocese of Cleveland CYO athletic program provides programming for: Lorain, Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga Counties, Summit, Ashland, Medina, and Wayne Counties. Our program area is divided into the following areas of service: Central (the city of Cleveland), East (Lake, Geauga and Eastern Cuyahoga Counties), West (Lorain and Western Cuyahoga Counties), Summit North and South, and Ashland Medina Wayne Counties.