Perspectives changing on new Foothill sports program

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Perspectives changing on new Foothill sports program

Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Emily Kinnaman

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Foothill’s quad, once quiet and vacant during seventh period, is now busy with student-athletes and coaches going to and from practice.

Girls carrying tennis rackets, cross country runners, athletes in CAP, and other student-athletes, can be found around campus during this time. The hustle of athletes getting ready for practice is completely new to Foothill, which has sports for the first time ever in its history.

Some students believe that bringing sports to Foothill benefits the school. Sophomore Evan Pedersen says that he has always been supportive of the decision.

“I like the new addition. You get to represent your school in activities, which is nice,” he said.

Sophomore Summer Khouvilay shares a similar opinion.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to have the students, instead of having to commute to other schools, play for Foothill,” she said. “It also works for the reputation of the school because we’re known as the nerdy kids, but then we can show the other schools that we are very athletic and we do have a lot of [school] spirit.”

Foothill’s addition of sports has not been supported by all students, however. When the decision was first announced in the spring of 2013, many students opposed the idea.

A PAAC debate on campus found that only four students in the room supported the addition of sports, while 35 students were against it. Many students did not want sports to change the purely academic environment of Foothill.

Opinions seem to be changing, however. Sophomore Alysa Elliott said that she is supportive of sports now, but wasn’t always that way.

“It used to think it was kind of lame, like why would they have sports here since it’s an academic school? But I kind of feel like it’s beneficial to the school,” she said.

Sophomore Annika Flint echoed the same feelings.

“At first I thought it was kind of weird because I thought [Foothill] was [academic]-based, but it’s a good idea because now Foothill is just one community, instead of branching out,” she said.

 

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Social science teacher Dan Fitz-Patrick is both supportive and skeptical of sports at Foothill.

“I originally came to Foothill because I liked the idea that they didn’t have sports here, and I liked that kids could go off to Buena or Ventura and play sports, but Foothill had a purely academic reputation and rigor so I wanted to come to that school,” he said.

“So then at the end of my first year, a couple of years ago, when they said that sports were going to be introduced and there was no other way to go about it, I was probably a little conflicted,” Fitz-Patrick said.

“But at the same time, I love athletics myself, I like the sports, and I do see how it can really see how it can bond a school together.”

Fitz-Patrick hopes that athletics are not celebrated more than any other program at Foothill.

“[What] I don’t want to see is a consistent celebrating in the newspaper of the success of the athletes on the field,” he said. “As Foothill students, you bet I’m proud of them, no matter what they do, but I want that same recognition for journalism, MedTech, [and] the kid in Math 1 who slogged through hour after hour of learning how to do some math problems that they struggled with before.”

Senior Ben Newman currently runs cross country for Foothill, but has competed for Buena High School previously. He has always supported Foothill’s decision to implement athletics.

“Here [compared to Buena], it’s a lot more of a team atmosphere, and I really feel more involved with the team, and there’s more of a supportive atmosphere because I’m a part of the school,” Newman said.

“When I competed for Buena, it was an independent thing, and there weren’t really kids from Buena cheering for us, even though we played for Buena, because we went to Foothill,” he said. “But now that I play for Foothill, it’s way more supportive.”

Background Photo Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

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