PREP FOOTBALL: AHS football committee tackles student interest, finances in meeting

PREP FOOTBALL: AHS football committee tackles student interest, finances in meeting

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA – Student interest and financial feasibility
were just two of the areas kicked around during a Feb. 8 meeting in
San Juan Bautista, where a roughly 20-member committee for Anzar
High School had its first meeting to discuss the possible obstacles
and solutions of a prep football program.
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA – Student interest and financial feasibility were just two of the areas kicked around during a Feb. 8 meeting in San Juan Bautista, where a roughly 20-member committee for Anzar High School had its first meeting to discuss the possible obstacles and solutions of a prep football program.

“There was a lot of positive energy in there,” said Chris Wardlaw, a math teacher and former athletic director at AHS. “The idea was to list the obstacles that we would have to hurdle to install a football program here.”

While the committee created four goals, one of which was to establish a football program at Anzar for the 2011-12 school season, how to go about actually doing that dominated the remainder of the discussion.

Two subcommittees were created — one of which deals with student interest, the other delving into the financial matters and program requirements.

Wardlaw, who is involved with the latter subcommittee, has been in contact with Kelly Cress, who has five years of varsity football coaching experience and is the current athletic director at Trinity Christian in Monterey, which fields an 8-man football team through the Coastal Athletic League.

“I wanted to know what are the typical start-up costs for coaches, for equipment, and what the requirements are on emergency services,” Wardlaw said.

“What we can fund through private money and what comes from the district?”

The Anzar campus already has an existing football field, including goal posts, after the San Benito Cardinals of American Youth Football and Cheer broke ground on the San Juan Bautista campus last April to create a home football field.

Wardlaw also said the subcommittee was looking into requirements set forth by both the California Interscholastic Federation as well as the state’s Educational Code.

One of the bigger obstacles, Wardlaw said, was regarding the position of athletic director at Anzar High. Currently, the position is limited to 10 hours a week, and would most likely need to be expanded if the San Juan Bautista high school moves forward with a football program.

Along with establishing a program by 2011-2012, one of the committee’s other goals was for the program to be cost neutral to the district.

Student interest is also a necessity, said Mike Perez, who is part of that subcommittee and is also on the Board of Trustees for the Aromas — San Juan Unified School District.

“It will be good to see what the students want … not just football, but other sports that they may want to see in the future,” said Perez, whose subcommittee will be creating a survey for students at AHS, as well as one that is expected to be passed out to both seventh- and eighth-graders as well.

“The feasibility is important, but are the kids really interested in doing it?”

Although the survey has not been created yet, Perez is hoping that will get accomplished on Monday when the committee reconvenes for its second meeting, scheduled to be held at the District Annex at 2300 San Juan Highway in San Juan Bautista at 6 p.m.

The public is welcome to attend.

“Hopefully, we can get something laid out that night on the survey,” Perez said.

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