Update: Foothill’s first athletes to get 20 new teams plus more choices, facilities, programs


Next year will start a new era at Foothill with athletics starting. Photo Illustration Credit: Aysen Tan/ The Foothill Dragon Press

Megan Kearney

Next year will start a new era at Foothill with athletics starting. Photo Illustration Credit: Aysen Tan/ The Foothill Dragon Press
Foothill athletics starts next year with 20 new teams. Photo Illustration Credit: Aysen Tan/ The Foothill Dragon Press


Foothill will welcome the first-ever “Dragon” athletes next year with the start of a new era of sports, and school staff and administrators are busy learning and explaining CIF policies, making decisions on facilities and creating a new student-athlete fitness and tutoring program.

Last April Ventura Unified School District trustees voted to approve the implementation of athletics at Foothill beginning in 2014-2015.

Foothill’s enrollment grew from 280 students when it was founded in 2000 to 998 students by the fall of 2012. Officials in the Channel League Athletic Conference believed that the school had a large enough enrollment to maintain its own athletic program and requested the school district cease the operation of the multi-site agreement.

Sports to be offered next year are:



Girls Volleyball

Girls and Boys Cross Country

Girls Tennis

Boys Waterpolo

Girls Golf



Boys Basketball

Girls Basketball

Boys Soccer

Girls Soccer

Girls Waterpolo




Boys and Girls Track & Field

Boys and Girls Swimming

Boys Tennis

Girls Softball

Boys Golf

Boys Volleyball


There are no plans to offer football or wrestling. There may be the possibility of offering lacrosse at some point.

Foothill’s new athletics program will offer many choices for current students, from playing for their current teams at Buena and Ventura to switching to Foothill teams next year. By 2017-2018, however, the transition will be complete and Foothill students will no longer be playing for Ventura or Buena high schools. 


New CIF policy to give current Foothill athletes more choices

Foothill students who are currently participating in a sport for their boundary school — Buena or Ventura high schools — will have the choice to continue at that school, or to switch over and play for Foothill after a 30-day waiting period.

“Current Foothill students that are currently in ninth through eleventh grade here have a choice next year when we start sports,” said Foothill principal Joe Bova.

If students have participated in any sport in the last 12 months  at Buena or Ventura, they can switch over to play for Foothill, but they have to sit out what is called a 30-day sit-out period if they plan to play at the varsity level. 

“It’s a new policy by CIF. It’s a lot more liberal than it used to be; it used to be a year to sit out, now it’s 30 days,” Bova said.

The sit-out period begins on the first day of the official season, which is set by CIF. The athletes sitting out may practice with the team, but they may not participate in competitions over the course of those days.


“It used to be a year to sit out, now it’s 30 days,” Bova said.


Once the 30 sit-out days are over, then the athlete becomes fully eligible for the remainder of the season.

Approximately 300 Foothill students, or 30 percent, participate in athletics at their “boundary” high schools, Buena and Ventura.

Any current Foothill student who has never participated in a sport at Buena or Ventura is eligible immediately to participate at Foothill next year, however. And all incoming 9th grade students will play only for Foothill.

Athletes who were competing on the JV level at Buena or Ventura can switch over to Foothill and become eligible to play immediately, but only if they want to continue participating at the JV level at Foothill.

For Foothill this may create an issue for the first year because the school, in consultation with league officials, plans to field only varsity sports next year.

After the first year, the goal is to offer both levels, Varsity and JV for most sports.

“We’ll have every sport with one team, and the second year we will have two levels-a varsity and JV team, well for most sports,” Bova said.


New CAP Program to help student athletes train and study

Foothill P.E. teachers Bill Huffman, Anthony Unchangco and Ken Reeves are working with Athletic Director Emily Stevens to develop Foothill’s new Core Athletics Program, or CAP, for athletes to begin taking next year. Student-athletes will spend their off seasons on the Foothill campus either working out or doing homework during 7th period.

The workouts for the CAP program will be designed by the CAP staff to be specific to each sport, depending on the needs of the athletes and what the coaches would like to see.

This year the 7th period P.E. classes have been downsized into two sections of 30 to 35 students.

“They are using those PE classes as guinea pigs, in a way, to start to build those different strands,” Bova said, “Because we will have strands that will include, for example, one group doing a distance cardiovascular workout, where another team might be doing strength one day.”

Starting in the next school year, there will no longer be a 7th period regular P.E. class.


District to build new track and soccer fields at Anacapa Middle School

The district has moved forward with a building project at Anacapa Middle School which will benefit the new Foothill teams next year.

“The plan for there is to put in an all-weather track, like Buena and Ventura have, and then an all-purpose field like they have for soccer,” Bova said. “And eventually, potentially lacrosse.”

There’s an upper part of the field and a lower part of the field. The lower part of the field at Anacapa is going to be where they will place the track and a stadium.

“They’re also planning on building a field house over there with locker rooms, and then there’ll also be a softball field put in there and an additional practice field put on regular grass and also could include an area for throws for track and field,” Bova said.


“The plan for there is to put in an all-weather track, like Buena and Ventura have, and then an all-purpose field like they have for soccer,” Bova said. “And eventually, potentially lacrosse.”


The goal is to have the first phase of construction done by next November.

“So it will be ready, certainly if that’s true, by track season and it will be ready for soccer season too,” Bova said.

The plan also includes taking out some of the basketball courts and restructuring the parking lot and turn-around area to improve the in and out driveways.

The Anacapa gym will get new bleachers and hoops, additional locker rooms and bathrooms. The gym will be used for volleyball and basketball practice, but cannot be used for games.

“The dimensions of Anacapa are not legal dimensions for a high school game, for basketball and they are legal for volleyball, so we don’t know whether we’ll use another facility, and they may do some improvements there,” Bova said.

Construction of a gym at Foothill still a possibility

“We’ve been hoping for years to get a gymnasium here and that’s something that we continue to talk to the district about, not just for athletics but for PE just so we have a bigger facility for PE,” Bova said.

Swimmers and water polo players will practice and compete at the Ventura Aquatic Center on Kimball Road. This facility will be available to Foothill teams from 3:00 to 5:00 every day during the school year.

Bova said there is a possibility of sharing the Buena and Ventura high school pools for JV teams once they are started.

Tennis will also be using an off-campus location, Ventura College, for their practices and matches. And Foothill administrators will be meeting with some of the local golf courses soon to discuss which course will be Foothill’s “home course.”

The location for baseball is still being decided upon, as well, Bova said.

“There are city facilities we can use, which will work, but we’d obviously like to have a site in the district where we can build a baseball facility,” he said.

Cross country will have access to multiple locations, including city parks, the pool at the aquatic center for water conditioning, and some of the fields at Ventura College.


Traditional practice times and transportation expected for Foothill athletes

Foothill’s athletic program will be no different than the other schools in the district when it comes to practice times. Teams will practice any time between 2:00 to 6:30 or 7 at night.

“I think because of the building facilities at Anacapa and other agreements we’ve made with Ventura Aquatic Center, the time frame for practice is going to be no different than any other high schools,” Bova said.

Buses will shuttle athletes to all the various practice and game facilities.

The school website has more information about athletics here.



Editors Note: This article was updated at 10:52 a.m. (PST) on Friday to reflect more precisely the CIF policy on sit-out periods.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated at 6:15 p.m. (PST) on Nov. 18 to correct a comment from principal Joe Bova regarding the dimensions of the Anacapa gym. The gym is legal for CIF volleyball but not for basketball. The quote was accidentally changed in the course of writing the article.

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