DVC teams running out of time

The latest victims of DVC’s financial crisis are the women’s and men’s tennis, cross country and track and field teams. All are eliminated, beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, until the budget deficit recovers.
“The response has been a sad one for our athletes, and the community is really disturbed and upset about the loss,” said Daniel Cruz, head coach of track and field and cross country.

Cruz has coached for 39 years, the last nine of them at DVC.

The college faces a $5.2 deficit for the coming school year, because of the state’s budget problems. Of that total, $1.2 million was carved out of the 2010-211 course schedules, with the remaining $4 million still to come from other budget categories.

Athletic director Christine Worsley said the teams were picked for elimination because they “affect the least amount of students.”

But men’s head tennis coach Pete Benko took issue with the cuts.

 “The administration is not supporting athletics at DVC,” he said. “That is the bottom line.”

Head coach since 2007, Benko said the tennis team cut is particularly devastating, since DVC has the only community college team in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

“Cutting sports was a bad idea,” said Sergio Perez-Smith, one of the men’s tennis captains. “You want to keep the students concentrated in school as well as being healthy and active!”

A tennis player for the past five years, Perez-Smith said he was upset when, on the first day of tryouts, Benko announced the 2010 tennis season would be its last.
Both men’s and women’s tennis teams begin tournaments and championship matches in April. They compete April 9-11 in the Big 8 Conference Tournament, followed by the Ojai Tournament in late April.

This week, they faced Santa Rosa Community College March 9, too late for the Inquirer’s print deadline, and American River College on March 12.

About 20 cross country runners, men and woman, ran their last races at DVC this past fall.

As for track and field, 20 male and 12-15 female athletes just began their last competitive season at DVC.
Next month, the teams compete in the American River Invitational, the Coast Classic, NorCal Multi Event Championship, and the Big 8 Conference Championship.
DVC’s Track and Field Teams compete March 11-12 in the Flex Day Meet at the College of San Mateo.


Contact Carrie Soldati at [email protected]