Core Athletics Program sections reduced in schedule overhaul


Chloe Zarrinkelk

CAP, an athletic program designed to keep Foothill Tech athletes in top condition during their offseason, is currently undergoing drastic changes. These adjustments have garnered mixed reactions from both staff and students.

Ailanie Martinez, Reporter

Amid scheduling changes for Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) throughout the 2023-2024 school year, the Core Athletics Program (CAP) classes have been significantly reduced in order to adapt to these various changes.

CAP was a class meant to keep athletes in shape during the offseason of their sport and to allow them to earn Physical Education credits. “It also developed their team camaraderie because they’d be working out together,” according to CAP Coordinator Emily Stevens. 

Principal Russell Gibbs explained the reason large reduction occurred was that, “Reason one was to accommodate intervention classes for students in Math and English, as well as credit recovery and an overall tightening of the schedule.”

“There weren’t as many class periods to disperse as in the past,” Gibbs finished.

Athletic Director Jamaal Brown said, “We had four CAP sections last year. This year we have one CAP section.”

Usually, the four sections are organized so that all members of Foothill Tech sport teams receive training together. While underclassmen are still required to take the class, upperclassmen athletes have the option to opt out as they have met their graduation requirements.

Gibbs remarked, “I think they’ve all chosen to go worry about their homework instead.”

You can’t continue to take resources away from a program and maintain that it’s going to hold the same levels of excellence.

— Jamaal Brown

On how this change could affect students, Brown shared his concerns, explaining, “You’re going to have athletes that are deconditioned … it ends up being a situation where they are perhaps more prone to injury and not ready for their sport yet.”

Stevens shares a similar view. “So [upperclassmen athletes] are not conditioning unless they’re doing their own workouts.”

With newly limited periods in CAP, classes are larger with athletes cramming into the available CAP courses. 

“It is not ideal for students, because the smaller the class size, the instructor can provide a specialized type of training for those athletes,” Brown commented. 

With a different perspective, Gibbs stated, “It would depend on an individual basis. I haven’t had any students demanding it back.”

“We still have one section for offseason athletes, it is still in existence, just not as expansive as it was,” he concluded. 

Stevens and Brown also expressed fears of how this change could affect staff and coaches. “When you start comparing [Buena High School, Ventura High School and Foothill Tech] and their different possibilities, trying to retain coaches, and teachers for that matter, is difficult. You start seeing some inequities being produced here,” Brown said. 

He further explains, “It puts a higher demand on our coaches, because during the off season, we absorbed some of that burden.”

We need those four CAP sections.

— Emily Stevens

“Then, after their day job of 40 hours a week, they go coach for 20 to 30 hours a week. When they can take the whole season off, it really helps them,” he finished. 

The new arrangement is exacerbated by the closing of the Mavericks Gym, which traditionally was used as a space for Foothill Tech Physical Education and CAP, leaving athletic teachers with further limited resources.

The future of CAP is still tentative, Gibbs revealed, “It’s hard to say if it’s ever able to come back the way it used to be, I would say probably not considering the declining enrollment in the district.”

On the opposite side, Brown and Stevens hope for the return of all four CAP sections in order to give relief to everyone involved. 

“Coach Brown is being asked to absorb the work I was doing as CAP Coordinator for no extra pay,” Stevens reported. 

Brown asserted, “We had a system that was very well thought out and worked extremely well. My hope is that we can get back to a program that was very, very effective in the past.¨

“We already know what happens when you don’t allocate resources,” he closed.

With the CAP changes already enacted, Foothill Tech athletes will not be training in a class during their offseason. Both Brown and Stevens hope for its return, but considering the declining enrollment in the district that Gibbs referenced, it is unknown if it will ever return to how it was.

What do you think?