Canyon View High School, which opens its doors for incoming students in Waddell this fall, announced that it will immediately begin competition in Arizona Interscholastic Association-sponsored sports.
“The only sport we’re not offering is badminton, but otherwise we’ll have every other AIA sport, so we’re really diving right in,” principal and interim athletic director Phillip Nowlin said.
With the first class of freshmen set to arrive in August, Canyon View does not yet have an assistant principal, or a full-time athletic director, but Nowlin has participated in hiring a crop of coaches and trainers he believes in.
Nowlin appreciates how important athletics and other school-sponsored activities outside the classroom are for developing character and all-around education for students.
“You’re establishing school spirit, establishing a culture for extracurricular activity,” he said. “Students have the opportunity to be involved in activities outside of the normal academic day and compete. There’s a lot that you get from athletics.”
Now that the program is set, Nowlin said the first goal is to establish the teams from a young age. Most of the team sports in the fall, such as football or girls’ indoor volleyball, will not yet be competing at the varsity level, but he’s recruiting.
He said developing team camaraderie and the understanding of what it takes to push new teams into the right direction is not easy, especially when student athletes hope to compete and even win immediately. But, the coaches know the fundamentals and skill building for the future is much more valuable than an extra win or two.
“We have summer programs going on where students are participating in open gyms, open fields, getting to know each other and the coaches,” he said. “Really, it’s just like any of the other high schools when they have freshmen coming in. They don’t know each other, but they grow together.”
Not sure of what the result will be in the standings at the end of the season, Nowlin said it was hard to judge exactly what success will mean in the school’s first year hitting the field. But, he said every school sports program has had to start from somewhere. When Canyon View student-athletes go out, they are positioned to start something that lasts for a long time.
“Our first football game is August 24 against Verrado, and we’re doing a Friday night football game for freshmen to make it a special event, so we’re excited to get started with that and everything else.”