Editor's note: A previous version of this Pleasanton Preps column erroneously stated that a private investigator's report was sent to Amador Valley High School before girls basketball coach Al Chavira's suspension. The complaint filed with the school cited a family's own, personal research into the coach's background.
It was a tale of two teams this year in basketball at Amador Valley.
The boys used a late-season run to win the East Bay Athletic League playoffs, beating De La Salle and Dublin to earn a berth in the North Coast Section playoffs. It was good times all around.
The girls side? Not so much.
What started as a promising season ended in shambles, with second-year Dons coach Al Chavira suspended thanks to one pair of disgruntled parents.
Here's what we do know and has been confirmed by many people associated with the Amador program.
* Last year during Chavira's first year, those parents became frustrated with his basketball decisions and took the issue to school officials, but the school had the coach's back and nothing came of it. End of story, right? Not so fast.
* This year, the two parents were still unhappy, looked into the coach's background more, dug up some stuff from 20 or so years earlier, and the parents then sent a report to the school. The school's hands were tied, and they had to forward the information to the Pleasanton Unified School District. That led to Chavira being suspended with five games left in the season.
* PUSD spokesman Patrick Gannon confirmed Chavira was put on leave but declined to elaborate for legal reasons. The coach's status for next season remains unclear.
* The "dirt" that was dug up, according to all parties (other than the aggrieved parents), did not result in criminal charges or legal action and were refuted by Chavira. Every single other parent of girls on the Amador team were made aware of the information, and to a person they unconditionally defended Chavira -- and did so by sending a letter to the school board asking for Chavira to be reinstated. Their pleas fell on deaf ears.
I have three daughters, and after reading the information on Chavira, I would have stood with the 11 other sets of parents in support of the coach. It's disgusting this could happen. I have been in Pleasanton since 1967 and an Amador graduate, and I have never been as embarrassed about a situation.
This is delusional thinking at its finest.
Look, I get believing in your kids, but at the same time, be realistic and look at the big picture. As my wife is so fond of saying, "suck it up buttercup." You teach your kids to work as hard as they can each day, which at the end of the day is the only thing they can control.
Life is not going to always go their way and the true measure of a person is how they respond to adversity. Life stinks some days, and the quicker you pull up your big boy or big girl pants and deal with it, the better a person you become.
That didn't happen here and now there's a litany of damage.
A good, hard-working coach had his name sullied. The team recently held their year-end banquet, but Chavira was not allowed to attend, thus depriving the seniors on the team from celebrating their last high school season with a coach they liked -- and more importantly, respected.
The complaining parents have created animosity among the girls on the team. The rest of the parents confirmed there is tension within the team, without a doubt.
Who else is to blame?
Amador's administration? I used to think the administrations in Pleasanton schools had grown weak, but the reality is their hands are tied by an overzealous school board/district worried more about political correctness than what's right and wrong.
I have worked in the district and seen first-hand how school administrators are hesitant to make decision because they are worried about the reaction of the district office.
The principals and athletic directors in Pleasanton genuinely have the best interests of their students in mind but is that true of the school district?
Every coach hired in the district is supposed to be vetted, and Chavira was cleared before he was given the Amador job.
Yet one year later he was suspended. My question: Just how does the school district go about clearing coaches? How about teachers or administrators? Others that work in the district?
If there was past information worthy of warranting a suspension, why wasn't it found originally. Makes you shake your head.
I have been approached by many over the last seven to 10 years about running for school board in Pleasanton and my response is always the same -- not a chance.
Why? Those that know me will be the first to agree: I don't care about political correctness, but rather what's right and wrong. I speak my mind and wear my heart on my sleeve -- two things that don't work in this society. We are so preoccupied trying not to upset anyone that we don't do what is right oftentimes.
Every year I see or hear about more coaches being run out than those getting support. The question begs to be asked, why is this the case? One, we've answered the main reason -- parental involvement. But equally important and lost in the shuffle is why would you want to be a coach in this environment?
I fear that high school sports will not be around much longer as the forces against it are greater than those that support sports. You may think this is a reach, but trust me, it's a reality.
With incidents like what has happened at Amador recently, we are going to continue to lose quality coaches.
Can we right the ship? I am beginning to doubt it which is a lot for an eternal optimist such as myself. But I will hope generations of kids to come can fill their memories with high school athletics.
In preps results last week, the Foothill Falcons managed to squeeze in a game during the rain-soaked week, besting Freedom 7-2.
Foothill started early, scoring five runs in the first inning. A two-run double by Jeremy Lea, an RBI single by Brett Hansen, an RBI double by Jake Simons and finally a RBI single by Sam Zevanoe rounded out the scoring.
Foothill added one more in the bottom of the third with a triple by Simons and an RBI single by Colin Dixon.
Foothill would tack on one more run in the bottom of the fourth with a double by Hansen knocking in Corey Steinhauer.
Dylan Pottgieser led the way on the hill for the Falcons, surrendering one run on one hit over three innings, striking out three. Seungmin Shim pitched the fourth and fifth innings, allowing one run on no hits and one walk while posting two strikeouts.
James Kroll pitched in the sixth allowing no runs and no hits while striking out two. For the second game in a row, Josh Anderson closed out the game allowing one hit and striking out one.
Amador girls lacrosse
The Dons return 13 players this season and got the season off on the right foot with a 12-8 win over Acalanes on Feb. 27.
On a chilly evening in San Ramon on Feb. 27, the Falcons were led by a strong performance by their doubles teams, beating Cal High 7-2.
The doubles teams of Alex Yang and Dylan Weiglein (No. 1), Tanmay Gandhi and Genghe Zhu (No. 2) and Mark Mouch and Vince Barletta (No. 3) all swept their matches without dropping a set.
Akash Patel, Shreekar Eedara, Adam Linette and Abhi Eedara added victories in singles.