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North Monterey County High School Athletic Program to possibly scale back

CASTROVILLE Calif. - Sports in a high school in a local district could be scaled back. North Monterey County High School parents and students are not happy about the status of the athletic program currently. They are worried about the current state and future of the athletic department. 

The North Monterey County Unified School District replied to each parent's concerns, assuring parents and students they are doing the best for their students.

The school district responded to that complaint by saying the sports athletic program is not being scaled back at all. The high school is allocating the budget to support athletics the same as every other year. This includes moving forward with summer conditioning, same as always.

Sandra Ruiz is a parent. Her son goes to North Monterey County High School and she is not happy about what she says is a scaling back. 

“We feel like the athletics program is not being supported at the school,” Ruiz said. “It's had a revolving door of principals, and athletic directors, and I just recently found out that they're not going to be replacing the athletic director position, which is a position that is at every high school in our Tri-County area.” 

The school district said that "The athletic program is well-supported by a highly qualified certificated athletic director and a site assistant principal who oversees athletics and activities. They are responsible for hiring coaches, assistant coaches, and the athletic trainer, all of whom work together to develop and implement the athletic program."

The school provides transportation, uniforms, and equipment for all athletic teams. There are various clubs and intramural activities facilitated by a Student Engagement Specialist and an Activities Director, per the district.

The District also added that the school offers an after-school program called "The Nest,"
providing tutoring, homework help, and a healthy snack and supper to ensure students get proper nutrition for productivity.

In regards to the athletic director position, the district said, "The school has internally posted the athletic director position for certificated staff. The selection process will involve a stakeholder panel comprising students, staff, coaches, and other stakeholders."

The current athletic director has accepted an assistant principal position at an elementary school within the district and will help work with the new Athletic Director to facilitate a smooth transition, said the district.

Parents are not only concerned with the school’s athletic program but also concerned for the unkempt athletic facilities. 

“We have a weight room that has equipment that has not been kept up to date,” Ruiz said. “And part of the weight room is also in disrepair and has been for several years.”

Former North Monterey County baseball coach, Alex Rivera, said that his student-athletes weren’t even allowed to use the weight room. 

“Then they took with athletic the weightlifting privileges,” Rivera said. “Why did they do that? I don't know we're working on as a team. We're consistently getting 10 to 15 kids every day working out during the off-season workouts. That was huge for kids to be that committed to a program and to me as a coach and the coaches."

The school district said that the weight room space is currently insufficient to accommodate all students who want to use it. "The disrepair issue stems from a previous renovation that an individual staff member made many, many years ago with the removal of a wall, over the years this has led to a designated area being compromised and is now fenced off due to safety concerns."

The weight room will be fully usable by the summer once repairs are made and the current usable part of the room is enough for those who want to use it, said the district.

Alex is one of the very many community members that wants answers from the school district about the athletic department. 

“We've tried to go up again on trying to get answers,” Rivera said. “We read emails, we contact people we contact administration, I've had meetings with tenants, it just goes blind.” 

An official letter was sent to the superintendent from Sandra Ruiz and her husband on behalf of themselves and the community demanding change.  

“I'm glad the superintendent took the time to respond to my email,” Ruiz said. “I do feel like it wasn't transparent you know, who made the decision and how are we going to keep those decisions from being made in the future? How are those decisions going to be communicated to the community? You know, where's our slot at the table so we can have these discussions.” 

In a statement, the district says, “At this time, the Pep Squad and Sideline Cheer Clubs are seeking a Certified Advisor for the upcoming school year which is required to complete the approval process through the ASB Club Charter and Constitution

You can view the full statement from the school district below:

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