Upper School Athletics

Two soccer players smiling together on a soccer field

Cutthroat athletes are defined by their passion, determination, and sportsmanship.


Sun Valley Community School students set high goals for themselves in the classroom and on the fields, courts, and snow.

Cutthroats push themselves to their full potential in soccer, tennis, cross-country, track and field, volleyball, golf, and basketball. Beyond school offerings, students compete in individual and team sports such as figure skating, mountain biking, hockey, and equestrian events.

The Sun Valley Ski Academy, a unique partnership between Sun Valley Community School and the renowned Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, provides snow sport athletes world-class coaching for Alpine, cross country, freestyle skiing, and snowboarding.

Upper School Team Sports

Sun Valley Community School's Upper School teams compete in the IHSAA's 1A Division II, District IV, in the Northside Conference. In both boys' and girls' soccer, and tennis, the Cutthroats compete in the 3A Classification. Strong parental support and an excellent coaching staff drive the success of our program. With great dedication, our coaches instill sportsmanship, enthusiasm, and proficiency in our athletes. We value the fact that our graduates continue to participate in sports throughout their lives.


  • Soccer (Boys' and Girls')

Soccer has been at the heart of Sun Valley Community School's athletics program since its founding. Both the boys' and girls' teams compete at the varsity level. Both teams play a 16-game season schedule, followed by possible District and State Tournaments. Both teams are open to US students at every grade level, and over the years there have been enough participants to have a boys’ JV team as well.

  • Volleyball (Girls’)


The Upper School girls' volleyball team competes in September and October and is open to Upper School students at each grade level. Blending advanced players and novices, the school's volleyball team strives to qualify for the District and State Tournament each year.


  • Cross-Country Running (Boys' and Girls')

The cross-country team calls Sun Valley Community School's Dumke Family Sagewillow Campus their home course— one of the most challenging cross-country tracks in Idaho—and hosts one of the best-attended cross country meets in Idaho. The team is open to athletes from all US grade levels. The team has recently sent several runners (both boys and girls) to the State Championship meet.


  • Basketball (Boys')
The boys' varsity basketball team competes in the Northside Conference. The team is open to all Upper School students, and underclassmen are encouraged to participate. The coaching focus is on fundamental skills of the game, both offensive and defensive, along with an emphasis on fair play, positive attitude, and effort.


  • Tennis (Boys' and Girls')

The boys' and girls' tennis teams have a long history of success, having won eight state titles in the past 15 years. Upper School students at all grade levels are encouraged to participate, and underclassmen can earn top spots on the roster.

  • Golf (Boys' and Girls')

Our budding golf squad competes in numerous tournaments from mid-March through mid-May. Instruction from the indoor simulator and outside play ensure that our students have every opportunity to compete against larger schools throughout the area.

  • Track and Field (Boys' and Girls')
Many of our outstanding athletes compete in track and field during the spring season. The team welcomes all interested Upper School students willing to challenge themselves against talented schools from the Northside Conference.


In addition to playing on school sports teams, Sun Valley Community School students compete in a wide variety of individual athletic pursuits. Cutthroat athletes have achieved high-level success in hockey, figure skating, gymnastics, swimming, equestrian events, and more. In the Upper School, the term system, scheduling flexibility, and summer school options allow serious athletes to tailor their academic year to maximize in-season training time without sacrificing educational quality and progress.

Ice skaters practicing a routine

Meet the Director of Athletics

Richard Whitelaw

Richard Whitelaw initially joined Sun Valley Community School in 1992 as boys' varsity soccer coach and currently serves as Director of Athletics, boys' varsity soccer coach, and Middle School P.E. assistant.

Richard is grateful for the opportunity to pass along his love for sport to students, and he comes to work each day inspired by the Community School family. "Being surrounded by young, talented, intelligent students, and empowering, caring, positive faculty is a joy," he says. "I have the greatest job in the world."

In his many years coaching boys' varsity soccer, Richard has been committed to sharing a love for the game and a spirit of sportsmanship among his players. "I strive to instill in these young men that it's not about the wins or championships, it's about making the most of your short high school career, experiencing all the emotions associated with a successful team, playing to the best of your ability, and exuding good sportsmanship every step of the way."

Richard's love for the game of soccer doesn't end when he steps off the field. His favorite way to spend his time away from school: "Watching soccer, reading about soccer, writing about soccer, thinking about soccer . . . soccer never sleeps."

Contact the Director of Athletics

For questions related to athletic programming, please contact Richard Whitelaw, Director of Athletics via email (rwhitelaw@communityschool.org) or 208.622.3960, ext. 110.

Sun Valley Ski Academy


Sun Valley Ski Academy (SVSA) pairs the best of a Sun Valley Community School education with the proven coaching power of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, a USSA Gold level certified club, placing it amongst the best ski clubs in the nation. Together we provide an outstanding academic program that gives ninth grade through postgraduate day and boarding student-athletes a solid foundation for college with the flexibility to pursue intensive training and competition schedules.