A local effort to bring the wrestling program back to Mountain View High School looks to be a no-go, at least for now.
While school administrators showed interest in renewing the high school wrestling program, the school does not have the indoor athletic facilities required to make it happen, according to Bob Capriles, a parent who spearheaded the campaign to bring back wrestling.
"We simply do not have the safe and appropriate space to accommodate wrestling," Capriles said.
Mountain View High School is the only high school in Santa Clara County that does not have a wrestling program. On top of that, the two feeder schools for Mountain View High School -- Blach and Graham -- have some of the most robust wrestling programs in the district, making it a difficult transition for students who want to continue wrestling.
Capriles started his effort to bring back wrestling by talking to parents, teachers and coaches at Blach and Graham Middle Schools. He got feedback from the wrestling coaches at both the schools, as well as the principal at Graham, to see if there was a real interest to start a wrestling program at Mountain View High School.
Capriles said he got a lot of support from the Sports Boosters club that promotes and helps fund athletic programs at the high school. He said Mike Johnson, president of the Sports Boosters, has been instrumental in the effort to bring back wrestling, and pushed him to make a dedicated effort to bring back the program.
To bring back wrestling, the school needs to do two things: get funding for the equipment to start a wrestling team, and find a facility to house it. Capriles estimated they would need about $12,000 to $13,000 to get the program up and running, and from there the costs would be minimal. But even though the athletic budget at Mountain View High School is tight, the real problem was still finding an indoor facility.
Capriles said he met with Dave Grissom, the principal at Mountain View High School, as well as Barry Groves, the superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos School District, to look at the different options and see how feasible it was to start a wrestling program.
They considered a wide range of possibilities, from using the Alta Vista Multipurpose Room, and even the cafeteria at Mountain View High School. Capriles said the cafeteria posed a number of safety issues, like the large glass windows that wrestlers could easily crash into. They also had to consider where they could store the equipment and wrestling mats.
Capriles said it was clear after meetings with the school and district administrators that a wrestling program at Mountain View High School was not going to happen anytime soon.
The wrestling program has been discontinued for a long time, which is part of the problem. Capriles said he estimates that wrestling was discontinued at Mountain View High school as far back as the late 1980s.
Mountain View High School isn't the only school struggling to find the athletic facilities for its teams. Capriles said Los Altos High School doesn't have the field space for a lacrosse team, and there's only one gymnastics facility in the entire district.
In his meeting with the superintendent, Capriles ruled out the possibility of funding for new athletic facilities through a bond measure.
Groves said a bond measure to improve athletic facilities is not likely to pass. Measure A, a 2010 bond measure to improve academic facilities, was successful because it helps all students on the campus rather than just the students participating in sports programs. It also had an academic focus, which Groves said is a priority for the district.
And Capriles said he understands that academics should come first. He said that he was disappointed, but that the school is taking the right course of action at this time.