Courtney Sullivan Wu | firstname.lastname@example.org | June 27, 2018
Marcus Marsall, d.tech’s Athletics Director and Attendance Coordinator, is an integral part of d.tech’s developing sports culture. Marsall joined d.tech in October 2016.
Q: How was it running the sports program at a completely new school with a small sports culture?
It definitely has its challenges but I think that challenge is good because it pushes us, you know, I either had to completely own this, to make it work, or not. If I don’t own it, its not going to do anything, so it’s forcing me to really take pride and ownership of what I’m doing.
Q: Why is it up to the students to fundraise for their sports club instead of it coming out of the school budget?
The school does allocate some funds towards athletics, but there are a lot of other things the school needs to fund, too. If we’re going to show that a sport’s going to stay, or that a team is going to be running successfully, I think it’s good for the students, the athletes, to take that ownership and discover ways to do that. I obviously provide that support, like “You should try this, there’s this organization.” I’ll show them exactly where to go, it’s just the follow through and application of it is on the student.
Q: How do you think sports will be run in the future?
Well, my goal is to create a student council going into next year, so we’ll have some students partially involved. I want to get the parents more involved. Honestly, developing a bigger culture of sports at d.tech, because doing it just myself with my other roles added on here is pretty challenging. So hopefully I think it could be a good team working towards athletics in the future.
Q: One of your goals is to make a student council. How would a student council impact a growing athletics department?
One way I see a student council helping is keeping a strong media presence for athletic events. A student council does a lot of media through thing like uploading pictures or videos to Facebook or some kind of Instagram account to advertise and get the school involved and aware of athletic events. Students on a student council would get involved in helping out with teams with fundraising… And I’ve talked to other athletic directors who do the same thing.
Q: How do you think the sports department will grow?
I think both extending laterally and linearly with the programs that we already offer and also adding on more programs. So if it’s creating more basketball teams, like right now we have varsity boys and girls and JV boys, but we have a big interest in basketball so maybe adding more lower-level sports so that more kids can play. Then we don’t have to make cuts or less kids get cut. Creating more availability for popular sports I think is a good thing and also just creating more access overall for any sport that a student wants, whether it’s going to be through the athletics program or its going to be through a club. I think that we should have opportunities that are a little more structured and just available for students. And then also just making it fun, competitive, and educational at the same time.
Q: How has the lack of our own facilities impacted the sports?
It’s huge, it’s everything. That’s the biggest challenge, probably, especially with soccer and baseball. If you think about the Bay Area, the peninsula, it’s densely populated, and it’s a small sliver of land and there’s not enough recreational field space to support the population. This is a fact. We have lower priority over youth groups, say like American Youth Soccer Organization soccer or Protect Our Nation’s Youth baseball. Those groups get first pickings for fields. We’re third or fourth on the tier system. So, we barely have access to fields. That’s why we have to travel for our practices. We have a baseball field that’s like a block away from us and we will never be able to use it. We have a soccer field that’s just down the Bay Trail, we’ll never be able to use it because other groups get it, so it kinda sucks.
Q: Before our move, we were given the impression that we would be able to use Oracle’s facilities. Had you been given the same impression, was it something you were considering using, and has that changed?
Before we came here, that was the full impression, and it still is. It still is accessible to us, their gym is accessible. The only issue is, for basketball games, we cannot use it for league games because the court is lined and painted to college metrics, so it’s not a high school court and we cannot play high school regulated games, which sucks. We can use it for some practice but again, Oracle’s busy too, they have a lot of employee recreational leagues so they can’t give into us as much as we had hoped. Maybe one day a week we could use it for practices and then other than that I mean… they need that court. Luckily, the manager there, he’s a really nice person. He’s a nice guy, he likes us, so he tries to help us, but his hands are tied as well. So hopefully we get that lake filled in some day and we can build a multi-purpose field, that’s all I’m sayin’.
Quotes have been edited for length and clarity