Early morning skate

Three mornings a week before school, when it’s barely light outside, more than 100 teenagers are lacing up their skates at the Oakland Ice Center. They come of their own free will, even if it means showing up at 6:45 a.m. — more than an hour before they need to be at Oakland Technical High School.

photo by Laura A. Oda/Staff

Kelley Haskins, a physical education teacher at Oakland Tech, started the before-school P.E. class this fall. She said she worried that she wouldn’t meet the 35-student minimum, but her roster now includes 115 names.

I visited the class this morning with a photographer, and watched the teenagers swizzle, slide and speed around the rink. Continue Reading


The Oakland Athletic League’s future

Want to weigh in on the future of youth athletics in Oakland? The Special Committee on the Future of the Oakland Athletic League meets at 7 p.m. Thursday to discuss such questions as:

“Should the OAL join the North Coast Section of CIF? Should Charter Schools Participate in the OAL? What resources are required to adequately maintain the OAL? What resources are required to adequately compete in the North Coast Section of CIF?” (from agenda)

Michael Moore Sr., the new OAL commissioner, is recommending that the OAL remain in its own section, rather than joining the North Coast Section. He listed the pros and cons of joining the larger section here.

That document also includes some interesting information on the sports teams fielded at each school, the number of student-athletes on each team, and the district funding allocated to them.

I didn’t know there was a bowling team in Oakland!

What’s your opinion about the questions Moore and the special committee have raised?

Tribune file photo


Moore steps up to head the OAL

Michael Moore Sr. told me this morning that he didn’t know whether the 89-year-old Oakland Athletic League would have fizzled if it continued without a full-time commissioner. But, he said, “I didn’t want to leave it to chance.”

A year after OAL’s last commissioner retired, Roberta Mayor, Oakland’s new interim superintendent, announced this morning that she had named Moore, a district administrator, to the post.

Jerry Luzar, the previous commissioner, stepped down in 2007 after 12 years. The Oakland league — which has its own high school section, the smallest in the state — struggled last year without someone in charge. Many worried that the Oakland Section, and eventually the league, itself, would dissolve.

In comes Moore, a 28-year district employee and a 1975 graduate of Oakland High School. Continue Reading


Could the Oakland Athletic League’s days be numbered?


The Oakland Athletic League has been without a full-time commissioner for almost a year now, and sports advocates and league insiders say they have a bad feeling the school district is going to let the historic institution fizzle because of a lack of funds.

Carl Steward, a columnist, wrote about the situtation in today’s Tribune:

One of the most historically proud and distinguished prep sports leagues in America, the Oakland Athletic League, is in trouble. If it doesn’t get a smart, committed savior right now, the OAL could be history by the time school resumes in the fall.

Unfortunately, that would-be savior would require strong school district support that doesn’t currently appear to exist. Continue Reading