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Clayton Valley HS athletic director comments on robberies

By Theresa Harrington
Saturday, July 17th, 2010 at 5:23 pm in Clayton, Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Sports, Theresa Harrington.

After the Times wrote about three Clayton Valley High football players arrested on suspicion of robbing teens of ipods and cell phones in Clayton, several readers commented on the story, asking why the school’s athletic director, Pat Middendorf, declined to comment.
Middendorf posted the following response this afternoon. I am reposting it here, so more people will be aware of it.

Pat Middendorf: My Response:

“I am not sure whether it is appropriate for me to use this forum to comment on the robberies by 3 CVHS students or on the numerous blog comments about the Clayton Valley High School Community as a result of this. I would not normally respond to anonymous accusations but it does appear that some people really do want to know what CV is doing about this or if we are to blame for this happening.

Unfortunately it is summer and both the head FB coach and principal are on vacation so I will try to respond from my viewpoint. When the CCtimes reporter called me I had just found out about the robberies and I told him I knew nothing about it, nor  who  the students involved were, or what the schools stance on it was.  He said that he would take that as a no comment.  Later when I found out what was going on I did speak with a Clayton newspaper reporter. No one else has contacted me about this other than the 3 people who sent me an email encouraging CV to make sure that these players did not play on the team in the fall. 

After contacting Coach Garaventa, the person in charge of passing league and summer weight training I gained a true understanding of what happened and how devastating this was to our team. The 3 players involved were on the JV football team last year.  I think that everyone needs to know that Coach Pardi, Coach Garaventa and many of the other FB coaches teach more than just football at CV ; they are committed to teaching these  athletes life skills and have mentored all of our athletes on becoming better students and citizens. Everyone likes to win but these coaches are stakeholders in our community and in our athletic program.  I hold them to the highest standards and they in turn expect the best from the players.  It is heartbreaking for any coach or teacher when even one of your students fails and then you feel, or someone else feels, that you have failed too. The toughest lesson that we as teachers and coaches have to learn is that you can’t save everyone. Even when you learn it – it doesn’t make you feel much better.  It was a truly disturbing crime these students committed against members of their own community.  They will have to suffer the consequences for that crime and hopefully they will learn a lifetime lesson from this while they are still young.  The boys are not participating in any more summer workouts. If they return to CV in the fall the CV adminiatraion will be in charge of deciding on what is done at that point.

On that note I will clarify for those that want to know – Members of the girl’s soccer team did steal sweatshirts from another school last December.  The punishment at CV for stealing is a 2 day suspension from school.  They served their two day suspension and in addition because they were representing their school at this event they were suspended for the next 2 games, they wrote  apology letters to the school, returned the sweatshirts and played full price for them and completed a community service project I assigned. They were also removed from any leadership class or position they held. There were also 2 girls who were caught drinking at a school dance last school year. The punishment for this is a 5 day suspension from school and a 45 day suspension from all school events.  They both received that punishment and were not allowed to play for their school team for the 45 days.   Was that severe enough?  Too severe?   These are rules that all district schools follow but if you are interested in seeing them changed please contact the superintendent or school board.  These are the only incidences that were mentioned on the blogs that I know about.

I regret that this incidence has shed negative light on the city of Clayton, Clayton Valley High School, the CVHS Football program, and the CVHS Administration. We are not perfect and we make mistakes and sometimes we lose kids, but we are very proud of the accomplishments of our school and our sports program.  Last year 50 of our 54 teams made NCS Scholar team and the majority of Altair winners and scholarship awards go to athletes each year.  For those athletes that struggle in the classroom we offer 2 hour tutoring sessions 2 days a week taught by our CVHS teachers and football coaches. Many athletes are required by their coaches or me to go to these sessions in lieu of practice. Our athletes can be seen all year long serving their community at the Art & Wine Festival, the Clayton Golf tournament, October Fest, the UMDAF 5K, campus clean-up, just to name a few. We have 800 athletes at CV.  Over 150 play 2 sports and over 50 play 3. Hundreds go on to play college sports.  I could go on but I think my point is made.  We do have a big responsibility to many athletes and students who in turn make many  positive contributions to their school and community.  

After reading some of the negative comments I am certain we could do better and will try to do better,  if you think you can help or have positive suggestions please email me. This forum does not allow email addresses to be posted but you can find my address on the CVHS website.  I will not be answering anonymous blogs but can always use good positive advice and help.

If you really knew me you would know that I am one of CVHS’ biggest fans.  I try hard to make CVHS a better place for every student.   I have enjoyed getting to know all of the biggest fans of the other high schools through my work on the sports foundation this year.  I am proud of what we have all accomplished in keeping sports in our community.   If you want to help in that endeavor I encourage you to step up.  It will be a daunting task in the next few years to come.  I think this foundation of all six high schools has proved that it is better to pull together to make this a better place for our children than to work against each other. Please visit our website for more information.  Thanks for reading this.
 
Pat Middendorf”

I just spoke to Pat on the phone and she asked me to post her e-mail address here. She invites comments at pm258@aol.com.

She also encourages those who are interested in supporting sports in the Mt. Diablo school district to visit the United Mt. Diablo Athletic Foundation’s website at www.unitedmtdiabloathletics.org. The group’s funding plan for 2010-11 is on the website. Middendof said she has already received supportive e-mails and offers from people wishing to volunteer for the nonprofit organization.

 Do you agree with the district’s discipline policies?

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  • Angie Culum

    Pat Middendorf exemplifies excellence in leadership and CVHS is blessed to have her as Athletic Director. I learned about the robberies this morning from coach Garaventa and feel confident that the students involved will experience appropriate consequences.

    I haven’t read any blogs but can just imagine the outrage from people. Parents, neighbors and the community at large need to take responsibility for what goes on. Dedicated coaches and teachers are not responsibile for what students choose to do with their time during summer break.

    The positive benifits of high school athletics can never be under estimated and people need to realize there will always be a few students who push the limits and use poor judgement.

    Be proactive, take a leadership role and support what works!

  • Debi

    If people want to put down the amount of students that go bad, try compairing it to those students that are not involved in supervised activities