Ghidotti students won’t be able to participate in Nevada Union High School sports starting with next year’s freshman class at the early college high school, according to a memo reviewed by Sierra Foothills Report.
All current Ghidotti students — freshman through seniors — will be able to play NU sports their entire time until they graduate.
The decision was a disappointment to Ghidotti administrators and some parents and students. The school — ranked No. 1 academically in a statewide assessment of student performance — will be exploring other options for its students in coming months. “I believe that athletics are an important aspect of being a well-balanced individual and am dedicated to finding ways to help facilitate sports in our students’ lives,” said Ghidotti Principal Noah Levinson in a memo.
(Students have other options, including a chance to compete with Bay Area teams, not just local ones. Our son is a student athlete at Ghidotti. He plays competitive club volleyball in leagues in Grass Valley and in Sacramento, and the teams compete against others at tournaments in the Bay Area. It is a highly competitive league, and we think it is good exposure to play teams from Silicon Valley, San Francisco and the East Bay. He also is a first-degree black belt, working on his second degree at Gold Country Kuk Sool Won. His instructor, Tony Reyna, is a 6th degree black belt).
This comes amid change in the NU sports program. The school has been “right sized” into Division 3 sports league from Division 1. The Board of Managers of the Sac-Joaquin Section has approved a realignment for 2018-2022 that removes Nevada Union from the Sierra Football League in Division 1, with teams such as Del Oro and Granite Bay high school, and puts it in the Tri-County Conference in Division 3, with teams from Lincoln and Placer high school. It is more focused on the foothills.
The culprit is declining enrollment at NU, stemming from an aging and declining demographic in western Nevada County — a recurring theme on this blog.
The decision is a disappointment to some families at Ghidotti. “Ghidotti and all high school students of the district should be given an opportunity to develop their minds and bodies,” said one parent in an opinion column in The Union this summer as the plan was being debated. “I believe this is the wrong message to send to our student athletes of our high school district.”
For the second year in a row, Ghidotti ranked first in a statewide assessment of student performance. This is a coup for western Nevada County, competing against the likes of top-performing high schools in the Bay Area, Silicon Valley and Southern California.
I asked NU for a response to this decision and will post it when I receive it.