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St. Bernards’s Varsity Football Program Eliminated

Citing the departure of varsity head football coach  Larry Muno along with several student athletes transferring out of the school, St. Bernard’s High School was left with no choice but to suspend the Varsity Football team.  The coach resigned in large part due to financial aid being cut to the students along with Muno having to raise his own salary but the school has decided to keep the JV team around.

“We are pleased to announce that St. Bernard’s will field a junior varsity
football team this season. We look forward to the beginning of the new school
year and to rebuilding our football program here at St. Bernard High School.”

As a former student of the now closed St. Michael’s Girls High School, can understand how parochial schools are suffering for many reasons.  Lawsuits, scandal, low enrollment, tuition hikes, all contribute to parents searching for alternatives that won’t break our pockets.  To send one child to St. Bernard’s is approx. $700/month, not including fees to play sports.  As charter schools are increasingly becoming a viable alternative, parochial schools are forced to make budget cuts that are not well received.

In my opinion, St. Bernard’s alumni should be more visible and outraged that the varsity football program is gone.  Many alumni attend the games, aren’t they aware of what’s going on?  Alumni support assists with offsetting the costs to run the school efficiently.  Many will argue that sports are not required,  thus making them first to be removed from the schools, especially if the funding gaps aren’t shored up.

Verbum Dei, on the other hand, has strong alumni support and an innovative tuition assistance program that allows current students to work and contribute towards their education.  It is no coincidence that many of the firms the students are working in, have former Verb students as staff members.  What a way to give back!  Serra is doing their fair share as well by incorporating females into the once all male school, keeping  tuition affordable while maintaing a full and thriving athletic department.

Back in the day, many who attended St. Bernard’s thought very highly of themselves that they went to such a great school, touting that a faith-based education has more quality than public school, but I digress.  Where are they now?  Are they banding together to make sure the athletic department stays afloat?  They could have asked each alumni to donate $1 each towards Muno’s salary to show St. Bernard’s he was a valuable member of the Viking family. Maybe Muno could have solicited the Playa Del Rey community to sponsor the team (am I the only one who remembers the bail bonds company on the backs of the Bad News Bears)?

The problem with many of us are we aren’t thinking out of the box.  Muno had opportunity to make sure his program didn’t suffer by reaching out to the same sponsors of the basketball team.   I guess that lesson wasn’t taught in religion class.

If you attended St. Bernard’s, check out their alumni page.


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