Athletic Director proposes new practice start times for athletes

Nathan To, News Editor

To address the long period of time between school ending and sports practices beginning that leave sman students “stranded” with nowhere to go, Athletic director Jason Johson has proposed a change in the time sports practices are able to begin.

The current school-wide rule regarding sports practice start times is that coaches may not begin practice until 3:30 p.m. so students can attend academic tutorial or clubs.  However,  Johnson is actively pushing for a compromise that allows practices to start earlier.

“The proposed change is an optional practice start time of 2:45,” Johnson said.  “We will build a caveat where if a student needs to go to tutorial, make up an exam or go to a club, they will be excused until 3:30.”

For students who play sports but do not participate in clubs or tutorial, the gap between school ending and practice beginning is a time where many students have nowhere to go.

“I walk around the school finding a room to sit in on days I have practice,” cross country athlete Emma Glanville, a junior, said.  “I usually sit at the cafeteria tables outside and go on my phone or do my homework.”

Some students go home in the time between school and practice, but many are unable to. For students who are unable to return home before practices, some teachers allow students to stay in their classrooms until sports practices.

“My classroom is always open to students after school,” Integrated Math 1 and AP Calculus teacher Eric Vallecillo said.  “The main reason is for math tutoring.  I’m [at school] until 3 o’clock, so I say, ‘why not [let students stay in my classroom]?’”

For students who participate in clubs, tutorial, or other after school activities, however, the time between school and practice is essential.

“Before I go to tennis practice, I need to go to club practices and eat,” senior Jazlyn Bo said.  “Sometimes, I have to stay after school and help make posters for student government.”

An issue many students have with the required start time of 3:30 is that with a later start time, students don’t get home until late in the evening, taking away time they could spend doing homework or with family or friends.  Many student athletes don’t have an opportunity to do their homework until the late hours of the evening.

“Whenever I get home from cross country practice, I’m already too tired to do homework and I usually just eat dinner and fall asleep right after,” junior Peter Lucio said.

Students aren’t the only ones affected by later practice end times, as some coaches are opposed to going home late from practices since they aren’t able to spend as much time with their families.

“I think getting home really late really cuts into how much time people can spend it their family, athletes and coaches alike,” Bear Creek water polo coach Michael Heberle said.

While the current start time for sports practices creates issues for some students and coaches, Johnson’s change may alleviate some of these issues.