Is the Sports Department, here at Mayfair High School, being funded well?
Updated: Nov 2
Mayfair High School is proud to say that: not only are we recognized for being one of the only schools in CA to offer a plethora of courses for students to figure out which career path is right for them, but we're also known for our vast quantity of pro athlete alumni. From baseball to basketball, to football and more. A few of these athletes are Los Angeles Dodgers’ third baseman: Justin Turner, Rocket’s player: Josh Christopher, and former Hawk’s player: Josh Childress. These are just a few great examples of our lovely alumni.
We’re happy to admit that many of our student-athletes get dozens of offers to play for colleges and universities across the nation, and many of those student-athletes are also sent to CIF (California Interscholastic Federation). But while digging deeper into this topic, it’s become abundantly clear that our sports department is not being funded the way it should be. Even with the small fraction of funding that our sports departments receive, our teams are able to win time and time again, standing out in our district. Behind the success of our sports department and our persevering coaches, it’s a topic constantly left overlooked.
A recent article published through Press-Telegram, written by Kristy Hutchings on June 27, 2022, stated that Bellflower Unified didn’t provide proper services to its students, and had misrepresented their finances, “Despite the funding it received, Bellflower has not demonstrated that it took an active leadership role in responding to the educational disruptions caused by the pandemic.”
If they’ve done this with our students and its services, how much less for our sports department? While interviewing our staff members and a few student-athletes here at Mayfair, there was a common trend… and that’s the fact that our sports don’t get funded enough.
According to one of the student-athletes here at Mayfair, she stated: “Our girl's team has to practice with old beat-up softballs and they constantly rush out to practice early to get a nice softball for practice.” When asked if they thought that caused friction with team bonding the student-athlete replied, “Honestly, I think so. We’re so busy fighting over getting nice balls to practice and improve, not only as a team but as individual athletes that it can cause us to get ‘held back’... which shouldn’t be happening.”
One of the staff, here at Mayfair, also stated that it wasn’t fair that our students aren’t being offered the best that they could be. A student-athlete, who has been a part of our sports since he was a freshman said: “We aren’t getting funded well, most of the time we have to create our own fundraisers, which are mainly supported by our parents… the only reason we’ve been getting any slight difference in funding is that we’ve been winning more”
Another student-athlete admitted, “We’re in sports because for most of us, it’s all we know, it’s our escape from everything we deal with in life. I mean, you can tell we aren’t getting funded well when you compare our field and track to that of Bellflower… I mean you can tell that the district doesn’t fund us well enough.” One more student-athlete added, “I mean clearly we need better funding. It shows in the way the district created a whole scene with the donation Josh Childress made for our gym. Even Childress himself said he saw that we were still using the same dumbbells he used when he went here until he made that donation.”
Much of the Mayfair population would agree. In the spring, you can see the cheerleaders practice outside on mats that seem like they’ve been here longer than almost all of the staff. Nearly all of the basketballs are flat, the grip on them wears out, and our teams almost always have to work for more funding by creating their own fundraisers to help supply team needs.
One staff member reported, “Most of our track athletes have to run around a dirt circle. It isn’t even a track. Our teams have restricted resources yet we make it work because it’s our love and passion doing what we do.” When you think of a Californian High School, you’d think of a nice school with a nice track and football field, along with a soccer field and a baseball field. When we compare that expectation to what we have here at Mayfair, it clearly isn’t it.
As it is known, the two main high schools within BUSD are Mayfair and Bellflower High School. When both fields are compared, we can tell which school gets funded better and which school has to work more. Our athletes here at Mayfair work just as hard, if not harder, than any other student-athlete with proper funding. Within the Bellflower Unified District, Mayfair tends to send a higher percentage of student-athletes to CIF. The work the district is doing is, at most, half of its part. Our district isn’t treating its sports department fairly and isn’t funding Mayfair’s sports department as it should.
Its coaches and student-athletes are doing their job by staying on task, working hard putting their blood, sweat and tears into it just for the district to not find them according to the work both students and coaches are putting in. Student athletes spend more time on campus getting good grades, and doing the best they can in their studies and on the field. All of this is just so they can build on their future career and get noticed by colleges and universities that can help them achieve their goal.
BUSD needs to step up to the plate and invest in its sports department. They need to be fair and show that they truly are here for all of its students, teams, coaches, and better the comfortable environment that all of the staff try to create here on campus. It takes two: our coaches and athletes are doing their part, and BUSD is next.
The images shown below, in order, are:
Mayfair’s Field Layout
Bellflower’s Field layout
Bellflower High’s Field
Bellflower’s Football Field