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Another lackluster performance by the Foothill Hs X Country Coach
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by Bernard Laffer, Pheasant Ridge,
on Oct 12, 2012
High school cross country is well under way and as normal Foothill HS cannot hold a candle to the Amador HS team. Is the Foothill HS team any less talented than Amador? With the exception of one or two elite athletes I would say the answer is a resounding no. The difference in X-Country and also Track and Field reflect the knowledge and efforts of the schools respective coaches. The Amador coaches have put a tremendous amount of effort into organizing a team, preparing and running workouts in and out of season and keeping abreast of the changes in the sport.They approach their job as a labor of love and take great pride in their teams's success.Unfortunately the Foothill coach does not share his counter parts passion for the sport. Nor does he have their background. He was not a runner of any note and did not run track in college. college. He does not have a passion for the sport. Coaching provides him with a regular stipend and further endears him to the administration. Who am I to comment? I am a long term Pleasanton resident who has spent a lifetime in Track and Field as an athlete and coach. I competed at a national level and coached high school, junior college and collegiate teams with a Ggreat level of success. More importantly I spent years organizing national caliber teams in the inner city where sports are a child's life line to a future. My job does not permit me to coach at this time. I spent a year hanging around the Foothill team when my son ran. Fortunately Foothill had a walk on coach for part of the year. His knowledge and work ethic allowed for a great deal of success. Sam Hayams set the school mile record and received a scholarship to UC Irvine. Foothill has not performed at that level since. Our children are being short changed. We should demand coaching accountability. For those of you who do not know, most of our elite academic institutions ( Harvard, Princeton, Amherst,etc) field very competitive distance and X Country teams . They actively recruit and can help athletes gain admittance at reduced academic standards. When I was coaching at James Logan HS in Union City during the late 1990's . I was able to get my 4.20 miler into Brown Univeersity despite the fact that he only scored 1160 on the 2 test SAT.The coach was a friend of mine and his main concern besides the boy's athletic ability was whether he could compete academically. I assured him that he could and he got in.He competed and graduated in 4 years. His brother later went to John Hopkins. Again track helped him get in. The Foothill runners are being cheated out of a chance to use running to help their future. I am confident that the student interest is there but the adult leadership isn't. X Country and Track Field performance and success us tranparent. The watch does not lie. Demand change, your children are not receiving the efforts they deserve. If this was math or science you would not worry as much about the teacher being a nice guy as you would about their committment to teaching and what your child is learning. Athletics demand the same level of dedication. Their influence on a young person's life can be profound . I know because it happened to me. Demand change.