High school wrestling program a no-go

School, district cites lack of indoor athletic facilities

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.


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Posted by Future MVHS parent
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 25, 2014 at 10:52 am

Thanks Bob Capriles, for your efforts on this. I'm sure it took a tremendous mount of your personal time and I'm excited that we have parents like you in the district.

Like this comment
Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 25, 2014 at 2:39 pm

When MVHS did have wresting several decades ago, where did they store the equipment and hold the matches? Are there any former wrestlers who could shed light on this?

Like this comment
Posted by MVHS parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 25, 2014 at 3:35 pm

More of the same with MVHS and Barry Groves and those before him - if it has to do with athletics at MVHS it gets pushed aside, put on the back burner, or stalled just long enough for the parents who are pushing the cause to graduate their kids and leave. What wasn't said is that wrestling would benefit a number of programs at the school. Not only would MVHS not be the "token" school when it comes to wrestling but the Cheer program could also use the mats - currently they have no safe way to practice and are being ignored by the administrators (surprise). Wrestling is also co-ed and would not hamper the Title IX rules, plus the mats would benefit the dance program. All at "no cost" to the school as it would be self funded to get off the ground - just as both girls and boys lacrosse were. Yes, the is a facility shortage but one that could be worked through with any effort, but pushing it off is Mr. Groves standard procedure unless it involves something to do with academics or his causes. I've seen solid changes in the last couple of years - all from the Sports Booster Group. Trouble is those soldiers fighting the cause won't have kids in school forever and Barry smiles and wins again.

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Posted by Survey Numbers
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm

It's my understanding an interest survey was done in conjunction with this wrestling request. Perhaps the results were not overwhelming? Maybe The Voice could've asked about that as part of its reporting.

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Posted by MVHS parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 25, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Something doesn't sound right here.

There are "robust" wrestling programs at Blach and Graham, and there is absolutely no room to be found on the MVHS or Alta Vista campus? Really? Is the small gym used all day and after school every day? I've been to wrestling meets and it seems very unlikely that a couple kids (who are on the floor, trying to stay inside a circle that's several feet from the nearest wall) would crash through a window. Come on!

And all that's needed is $12,000-$13,000 dollars? Not to sound nonchalant, but we all know that's a pretty small amount of money in this area and there are other programs on campus that raise much more than that each year through a variety of fundraisers.

Sounds like the powers that be are not giving adequate attention to football field lights or a wrestling program. There's more to this story. I think the school board needs to hear from parents and community members about this.

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Posted by Susan
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 25, 2014 at 6:56 pm

I agree that the school board need to look into this more....but the school board are all "yes men" to Barry Groves. This is all disappointing the the true ones who lose out-the kids. In the land of inovation, in Silicon Valley we should be looking how to get things done instead of not wanting any more work-Dr Groves! My husband tried to get wrestling 3 years ago and it was the same line- lets think about it for a year. there are 3 seats coming up on the school board, if you really want to make a difference, run for one of them. This school board is a joke. Not run like a company that keeps its CEO in line, instead led around by their noses by Barry Groves. Barry, you need to go. Get with the valley and move forward with wrestling, stadium lights and quit living in the dark ages.

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Posted by Graham wrestling parent
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 25, 2014 at 6:58 pm

To previous two commenters - you are both reading it exactly correct. As a Graham wrestling parent I checked. The two middle schools would feed nearly 30 8th grade wrestlers next year alone as freshman, plus I heard there were at least 9 from the high school that were interested. I "would call" those "overwhelming" numbers - a lot more that they started either of the lacrosse programs with. Plus they had coaches "in hand" and I was also told that Mr. Capriles found out that MVHS already receives a wrestling coach salary as allocated by the district (and has for years) but they choose to use it for another sport - surprise again. Your are right this is not about money. Not only were middle school wrestling coaches "begging" for a HS program but the wrestling parents were "begging" to give money to start the program and to top it off - the MVHS Sport Booster Group was willing to fund it as well - there was no money issue at all. No space - let's get real here. Safety from glass in the lunch room - is that the best they can do for an answer? This is simply more of the Barry Grove agenda and as far as the board goes - who do you think runs the board. And consider this, two of the members have been on the board more than 25 years and collectively only one board member has kids in school in the district. Sound like reasonable representation to any of you readers? The word petition comes to mind.

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Posted by Paul
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 26, 2014 at 3:43 am

Two bonds measures and no facilities. Where did the bond money go?

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Posted by John
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 26, 2014 at 4:17 am

Two bonds measures totaling over 100 million dollars and no room for wrestling mats. Where did the money really go?

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Posted by MVHS parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 26, 2014 at 9:59 am

We know one student who went to Los Altos instead of MVHS because they have a wrestling program. How does LAHS fund and run their program?

I think that sports and activities like this keep some kids from dropping out and motivate others to keep their grades above a 2.0.

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Posted by window rcok arizona wrestling student
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2014 at 10:33 am

I like this and it motivates me and keeps me at grade point average.

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Posted by Good
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm

All sports should be separate from schools. Schools should concentrate on learning the 3 R's.

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Posted by Another Graham Wrestling Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm

School sports programs teach kids things that are not taught with the "3 Rs."
My daughter started wrestling at Graham this year. She actually pinned a guy. It gives her self-confidence and incentive to get her block G. There are so many advantages of teaching sports in schools. They make friends, they get their exercise and don't tax the medical system by getting obese with diabetes. They teach nutrition and life long good habits.

@Good - you should care, hopefully she'll be too busy to go down the slippery slope of drug use and all that goes along with it (in your neighborhood).

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2014 at 8:20 am

Where were the AD and principal in all of this? Did they not want wrestling? I agree the numbers for wrestling were way higher than when Lacrosse got its start! The numbers for grham and blach kids who would wrestle were very large. More of the same at the school. MVHS is going downhill and the new principal is just another puppet to Barry Groves.
He should sit down with Keith Moody over lunch in private and ask how his tenure turned out while being Barry's puppet. Really we could not find time to use the gym at 6 in the mroning for wrestling? The entire school district need to clean house. Its bad for kids to see such weak leaders!

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Posted by @AGWP
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm

That is so great, i'm glad for your kid, shoot maybe she'll have a good job as a wrestler, just what the community needs.

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Posted by Hulk
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Need I say more- Hulk Hogan, the Rock and current show-Divas!

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Posted by former wrestler
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2014 at 3:56 pm

As a former high school wrestler, I find it hard to believe that no suitable spaces could be found on the MVHS campus. Wrestling does not require a gymnasium sized room for practices. You can have practices in a multi-purpose room. You can even have practices outdoors. All you need is someplace to store the rolled up mats. Absent any of this, what about sharing wrestling facilities at LAHS? What about using the facilities at Blach? What about the Mtn View Sports Complex? There are solutions and the MVHS administration is not thinking creatively.

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Posted by AGWP
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Do you guys even know what you are talking about? I doubt it. I sure don't know what you are talking about. A job as a wrestler? What is a show-Diva? Are you watching that wrestling crap on TV? Maybe you need to get out more.

My daughter is a straight A student! She is smart enough to get a great job after college. She also plays softball and does track and field. My girl has a well-rounded education and great potential.

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Posted by Charlene
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 5, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I don't see how wrestling is any less important than softball or track and field. I'm glad your daughter is doing well. I don't think wrestling on the high school level features Hulk Hogan type students. I hate those shows! But, i do love wrestling as a sport. It's fun to watch! Quite a few of my neighbors chose LAHS for sports. I think MVHS is great, too! I guess it's what's best for each individual student. The reasoning for not having wrestling at MVHS seems off to me, though. Still, it's good your daughter is going to succeed. I mean that! :)

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Posted by I hear that
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 5, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I hear that the schools only give out good grades, they can't give bad grades, so everyone is Passing with flying colors.

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Posted by Concerned MVLA Teacher
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm

I am a teacher in the MVLA District and Barry Groves has damaged the fabric of what once made this District so great. Yes, teachers are well compensated, but that is in spite of the desires, wishes and actions of Dr. Groves. The climate at each school has deteriorated and staff members are demoralized by the many distracting, meaningless and unnecessary requests of the Superintendent. Barry is a politician who is looking for a stepping stone from which to leap. Despite the fact that teachers have helped kids have unprecedented levels of success as evidence by college entrance rates, AP scores, and graduation rates, Barry has made it clear that he does not trust teachers or his staff. In an effort to build a legacy of change, he is willing to dismantle those policies and practices that have for so long yielded the results that has made this District the envy of the education world. Every year a survey is conducted amoungst the teaching staff, and every year Barry's approval ratings rank in the low 30s. This is a reflection of the fear and negative culture that Barry has caused on both campuses in the district. Through his actions, Barry has demonstrated that he is not committed to doing what is best for kids and instead has proven to be more concerned about what yields him the next headline. Board of Education, please wake up; we need your help!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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