While Bay Area Christian School may not be the largest school around, numbers have recently seen an upward trend, and athletics, in particular, has shown impressive growth and participation rates.
“Our leadership has focused on enhancing the student experience, and a prime way to do that is to expand athletically and in the arts,” Bay Area Christian athletic director Kyle Kennedy said. “We’ve done that, and the results are a fuller high school and junior high. It’s great because our elementary school has always been revered here, and now our junior high and high school are finally getting the credit they deserve.”
Between the high school and junior high campuses, the Broncos fielded 23 teams in 2014, the year before Kennedy arrived. Now, that total is up to 40 teams and new athletics programs like wrestling and swimming were added to the fold last year.
“It was in a good place, and athletically, we had kids who could compete at the highest level, but from where we were at that time to where we are now … we’ve come a long way,” Kennedy said.
Bay Area Christian employs 46 coaches, and, overall, the high school population has grown by nearly 21 percent since 2015, Kennedy said. In total, there are about 900 students from pre-K to 12th grade, with 210 of those students at the high school, a population which Kennedy said is the most it has ever been.
Last school year, an impressive 72 percent of Bay Area Christian high school students participated in at least one sport, while 45 percent are multi-sport athletes. At the junior high level, those numbers were at 68 percent and 37 percent, respectively, Kennedy said.
“We want everybody to play as many sports as possible,” Kennedy said.
While Bay Area Christian’s numbers are rising, it’s not due to an influx of transfers like that commonly seen at some of the area’s larger private schools, but rather an increased interest from the school’s “homegrown athletes,” Kennedy said.
With the high rate of participation and the growing numbers, it comes as no great surprise the Broncos’ sports programs had successful seasons across the board this past school year.
Bay Area Christian’s football team won district and reached the TAPPS Division III state semifinals. Volleyball, girls basketball, baseball and softball were each district champions, as well, and the school was represented at the state meets for track and field, wrestling, golf and tennis, with track and field bringing home two state gold medals.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of success in our individual sports, as well as our team sports,” Kennedy said.
On the facilities side, Bay Area Christian’s recently opened athletics center, which features a competition gym, weight room, dressing rooms and coaches’ offices, is certainly a highlight. Starting next school year, Kennedy said he plans to add a “wall of fame” to the athletics center to highlight some of the most decorated athletes in the school’s history, which was founded in 1973. Further down the road, Kennedy hopes to, in phases during the course of the next seven to 10 years, eventually renovate the school’s football, baseball and softball fields with turf.
“Doing some things to make it more visually appealing here was important to myself, personally,” Kennedy said. “And, I look forward to what the future holds for Bay Area.”
Some of Kennedy’s other goals for the future are to continue to grow the athletics programs and, led by a strong class of 2020, to strive to get even better in them, across the board.
“These (incoming) seniors are a really good athletic class, and we just continue to build,” Kennedy said. “They’ve gotten better, they’ve put in their time in the weight room, and they really want to be a focal point in helping us grow athletically.”