Upward Sports Ministry

Upward at Immanuel assists families in building a strong foundation by promoting a relationship with Jesus Christ through a uniquely designed sports program.  Since 2009, Upward at Immanuel has been serving the greater McHenry County community as a sports ministry dedicated to providing kids a safe and nurturing place to grow in character, confidence, faith, and sportsmanship while discovering and refining their athletic abilities.  Coach led devotions at practice and post-game sessions of acknowledgement and encouragement are tools used to fortify a child’s foundation and promote growth.


When does the season begin?  
The Fall Season is October thru November for K-8th grade girls and K-2nd grade boys.  The Winter Season is February thru mid-March for 3rd - 8th grade boys.  Kindergarten thru 4th grade Cheer squads participate both seasons.
When are practices?  
Practices are 1.25 hours ONE evening per week.  Fall Season = Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday.  Winter Season = Thursday or Friday.  Practices include a coach-led devotion.
When are games?  
You will have 8 great Gameday Saturdays to experience Upward at the Immanuel Lutheran School gym.  Time commitment on Saturday is approximately 1.5 hours.
Special NOTE about Cheer:  Cheer squads cheer from halftime of one game through halftime of the next game.  The squad works really hard to prepare throughout the season, we want to give them as much opportunity as possible to spread good cheer!  Time commitment on Saturday is approximately 1.5 hours.
Veteran or rookie, evaluations are MANDATORY for all Upward basketball participants and are by appointment.  Look for the SIGNUP.COM email link during registration to sign up for an age appropriate evaluation appointment slot after registering.
Can I request a specific coach or that my child be with his/her friends? 
We know your kids like to play with their friends and we will make every effort to accommodate that special request, but cannot guarantee it.  We take our responsibility seriously to provide your family with a quality Upward experience.  To that end, it's important that all ability levels be spread equitably across all teams.  Your child will participate in evaluations and be placed on a great team accordingly --  a wonderful opportunity for him/her to grow and make new friends!
How are coaches vetted?  
Our Leadership Team is in continual communication with our volunteer coaches, all of whom have agreed to abide by the Upward Sports at Immanuel Value Statements.  All coaches and volunteers involved with Upward are required to complete an application and criminal background check.
Can I volunteer to coach?  
Absolutely!....in fact, all Upward coaches are volunteers -- primarily parents of participants.  Training and written materials will be provided and a Coaching Commissioner will support you throughout the season.  Contact Shelly Davidson for more information at
What does Upward cost? 
The $140 registration fee includes 9 weeks of practice, 8 games, a three piece uniform, season-end gift, gym time, referee fees, and administrative costs.  Early registration discount of $10 is available for each season.

Upward Programs


Upward Basketball is designed to build athletic skills, character, confidence, and spirit.

The Upward Basketball program is committed to developing the TOTAL athlete mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. 

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Cheerleading is a huge part of sporting events at all levels of play.

When athletes need encouragement and fans need entertainment, cheerleaders take the Upward sports experience to another level!

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Upward High School

UPWARD HIGH SCHOOL opens this June for entering 9th graders thru entering 12th graders.

Every Monday AND Tuesday night in June, the Immanuel gym is the place to be for coed 3on3 and 4on4 basketball games and dinner after each session.

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Upward Sponsors