Leroy Greene Academy to Launch Prep Sports Program

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Leroy Greene Academy this week was approved as an associate member of the Sac-Joaquin Section for the 2014 fall prep sports season.

The charter school submitted a formal request to join the section in September 2013 with the intent of launching junior varsity athletics programs for the 2014-15 school year. The plan is to add varsity programs the following school year.

“This is a step that any high school would want to take,” Natomas Unified superintendent Chris Evans said.

The request from Leroy Greene Academy was discussed by the Sac-Joaquin Section board meeting in October. It was approved at a section meeting Wednesday, Jan. 15 as an action item, allowing the school to proceed with initial steps to field prep teams in nine sports.

The fall sports lineup could include girls volleyball, boys soccer, cross country and girls tennis. Other sports planned for the school include wrestling in the winter and softball, baseball, boys tennis, swimming and girls soccer, which are all spring sports.

“We are working with the families and presenting those programs,” Leroy Greene Academy principal Angela Herrera said. “But it’s up for discussion and adjustments will be made accordingly. We want to meet the needs of our students.”

Leroy Greene Academy currently has 330 students enrolled  in 7th to 9th grades and anticipates an additional 150 students in the fall with the incoming 7th grade class.

As an associate member of the section Leroy Greene Academy is not granted league membership or allowed to participate in postseason play, but may compete against California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) programs.

“This is the first step a new, small school takes when it wants to become a full member and all that entails (league membership and playoff eligibility),” Section Director of Communications Will DeBoard said. “It’s generally a couple of years before an associate becomes a full member. There are a lot of variables there; sometimes it’s one year, sometimes it’s a bunch of years and sometimes schools just want to be associate members.”

Leroy Greene Academy opened as charter school in the Natomas Unified School District in fall 2012. School and district officials said they are working together to ensure the cost of having an athletic program – such as uniforms and travel – will be accounted for by fall.

“We will make sure the school gets what they need,” Evans said. “I anticipate this is going to happen.”

The Sac-Joaquin Section is the second largest section in the state. About 20 of its 197 member schools are considered associate members like Leroy Greene Academy, including Futures High School in North Highlands which was also approved by the section this week.

If Leroy Greene Academy becomes a full member of the section, it will likely compete in the Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League, a Division VII league.

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