FAQ: Foothill Athletics

 (Updated: December 2016) Photo Credit: Austin Hunt of The Foothill Dragon Press


What is the vision for the athletics program at Foothill?

Academics come first at Foothill, with athletics providing support for our students. The school offers a balanced approach so that students have the opportunity to become well-rounded student-athletes. We believe families and academics are most important, and our athletic programs support this belief. Our goal is to run a highly competitive program during the “season of sport,” and to also offer rest and recovery periods, so student-athletes are not asked to practice year-round without a break. Athletes are encouraged to play multiple sports, exposing them to increased athletic opportunities. We offer a comprehensive Core Athletics Program (CAP) for all Foothill athletes, similar to what many universities offer. Our athletes take part in a daily fitness and tutorial program taught by teachers on staff who are also professional fitness instructors. 

Why did Foothill begin offering athletics in 2014-2015?

Based on the size of our student population – currently at 1,000 students – a decision was made in 2013 to create an athletics program at Foothill to provide additional opportunities for high school students to play sports. When Foothill was founded in 2000 as a small high school, it was not possible to offer a sports program. The growth of Foothill’s population over the past decade made it possible to field teams. Additionally, by Foothill managing its own athletics program, there are fewer logistical issues for our athletes regarding practice schedules, transportation and communication between schools.

For which school will my child play sports?

Foothill students in the Class of 2018 and all subsequent classes will play sports for Foothill only. Students are no longer permitted to play for their boundary school (Buena or Ventura).

What sports are offered at Foothill?

Foothill offers 11 sports and 37 teams including varsity, junior varsity, and some frosh/soph levels. 


Girls Volleyball

Girls and Boys Cross Country

Girls Tennis

Boys Waterpolo

Girls Golf



Boys Basketball  

Girls Basketball   

Boys Soccer  

Girls Soccer   

Girls Waterpolo  



Track & Field B&G

Boys and Girls Swimming

Boys Tennis

Girls Softball

Boys Golf

Boys Volleyball

Can my child attend Foothill and still play a sport at their boundary school if Foothill doesn’t offer the sport? For example, can my son attend Foothill and play football or wrestling at Ventura or Buena since there is no football or wrestling program at Foothill?

No. For the class of 2018 and thereafter, students will participate in sports for Foothill only.

What league is Foothill part of?

Foothill is a member of the Tri-County Athletic Association. Foothill’s teams participate in either the Tri-Valley League or the Frontier League, depending on the sport. These leagues have diverse schools with a rich tradition of athletic and academic success. Teams currently include Bishop Diego, Carpinteria, Fillmore, Grace Brethren, Saint Bonaventure, Malibu, La Reina, Nordhoff, Santa Clara, Santa Paula, Villanova Prep, Thacher, and Cate. These schools field an average of 29 teams each. Divisions will vary by sport, but the majority of teams play in Divisions IV – VII.

Where do the teams practice and compete?

Foothill athletes practice and play home games at state-of-the-art facilities in our community. Swimmers and water polo players use the Olympic-size pool at the Ventura Aquatics Center. Tennis, soccer, basketball, softball, and cross country athletes take advantage of collegiate facilities across the street at Ventura College. Other teams use VUSD facilities at other schools. Each Foothill team has a consistent home facility or field, identified on the team webpages. The district is also planning the construction of new, permanent facilities where needed.

Who are Foothill’s coaches?

We have recruited professional coaches from the community who share and embody our values and vision for this athletics program. These coaches are supported by fitness professionals on the Foothill staff via the Comprehensive Core Athletics Program described above.

How does Foothill fund the athletics program?

The school district provided funding for the start-up expenses and continues to cover some of the annual expenses such as transportation and facilities costs. The Foothill Athletics/Academics Boosters provides additional support through team and program-wide fundraisers.

If my student does not participate in athletics, what are his/her options for P.E.?

We currently offer two onsite fitness classes, two classes at Mavericks Gym, independent study, and a dance class taught by a professional dance instructor.

How does Foothill balance its academic programs and athletic opportunities?

Foothill has established itself as one of the top academic schools in the nation, and we continue to strive for excellence in all areas of our school. We are aware of the extra burden placed on scholar athletes and understand that students need structured support and a balanced sports program. All sports teams practice after, during, or before the school day. There is built-in support for athletes to help them balance sports with our rigorous academic curriculum. Our nationally recognized programs such as the BioScience Academy, The Foothill Dragon Press, Speech & Debate, AVID and Renaissance continue to serve students in the same integral roles on campus, and we offer the same college preparatory and Honors/AP core classes and electives. The block schedule remains the same, and we continue our Monday early release at 1:55 p.m. to allow for teacher collaboration.

What will my student do during the Core Athletics Program (CAP)?

The Core Athletics Program takes place daily from 2 – 3 p.m.  Students rotate through fitness workouts and tutorials, led by Foothill staff. These workouts are designed by the CAP staff to be comprehensive and sports specific, depending on the individual needs of the athletes and coaches and whether they are in or out of season. During the season, student-athletes often have access to tutorial support before heading off to practices or games. Foothill staff leading this program are highly trained fitness professionals and veteran teachers with backgrounds in the humanities, math and sciences, including AP/Honors level courses. They are trained in AVID strategies and small-group tutorial techniques used to prepare students for success in four-year universities.

Has the culture of Foothill changed with the addition of a sports program?

Sports has enhanced our existing culture and climate. Foothill was recently named by WestEd.org as one of 40 secondary schools in California that is “beating the odds,” a place where students achieve academically at higher levels than our demographics would indicate. The study showed that Foothill has positive levels of school climate. With the addition of sports, Foothill students can now compete for and cheer on their own teams, creating additional bonds and school spirit. We believe athletics has created an even more close-knit and unified student body, staff and school community.

Has the admissions lottery process changed at all due to the addition of sports?

No. Students still apply to Foothill through the district’s School of Choice enrollment process. Since the 2002-2003 school year, Foothill students have been selected through a random, unbiased lottery with no criteria for entrance. This will not change. Student athletes will not be given special preference.

I have more questions. Who can I speak to?

You are welcome to contact Principal Joe Bova at 805-289-0023, ext. 1010; or Foothill’s Athletic Director Anthony Unchangco at 805-289-0023, ext. 2309.