A.J. Pateras is new Cabrillo High football coach (copy)

New Cabrillo High School football coach A.J. Pateras succeeded Tuesday in helping the school start a football booster club.

Lorenzo J. Reyna, Staff

The Cabrillo High School football program now has its own dedicated support organization, while Lompoc High School is on the verge of welcoming a female support group to its campus, thanks to a pair of approvals Tuesday night from the Lompoc Unified School District board of education.

In separate 5-0 votes, the board approved the formation of an official booster club for the Cabrillo High School football team and the establishment of a Brave Women club at Lompoc High School.

Cabrillo football coach A.J. Pateras, who was hired in February, attended Tuesday’s meeting to encourage the board to approve the booster club, which would be separate from the Cabrillo High School Athletic Booster Club. This new club, dedicated solely to football, will allow the program to fundraise to pay for things like safety and training equipment, meals, and other football-related items that some players wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

“Having an organization that’s running all year long to raise that funding to provide those supports for our student-athletes is huge,” Pateras said to the board.

According to the booster club’s bylaws, which were submitted to the district, the nonprofit organization will be managed by a board of directors consisting of five to 20 members. Megan Bowker was listed as the club’s president, with Jason Haddock identified as vice president. The document listed four other officers, including secretary, treasurer and varsity team mom.

In addition to fundraising, the club also has stated intentions to organize and sell team apparel, organize senior night, provide scholarships for graduating seniors, and to run youth coaching clinics and team banquets.

In the event of the club’s dissolution, the bylaws state that any remaining funds will be distributed to the Cabrillo High School Athletic Booster Club, which supports all sports at the school, and/or the Cabrillo High School Associated Student Body.

LUSD Superintendent Trevor McDonald told the board that he was supportive of the club.

“It’s the first time in a while, I think, that there has been a booster club,” he said. “Hopefully Lompoc (High School) will follow suit. It’s a positive thing to support all these young athletes.”

The Brave Women club at Lompoc High School — which utilizes the school’s Braves nickname — will not have any financial impacts. The free club was established, according to its constitution, to “create a safe space where women’s rights and issues can be openly discussed by anyone who wishes to attend.”

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The club will meet weekly, on Wednesdays, during lunch in a classroom on campus. The club’s sponsors are teachers Carolyn Taylor and Sarah Barthel.

The club will be open to all students and staff “to speak their opinions freely without fear of being judged” regarding issues related to women, according to the constitution, which added that the club is not a political organization.

In brief discussion before Tuesday’s vote, LUSD Boardmember Dick Barrett said he thought the club would be a welcome addition to the campus.

“In these times, women are at risk and (this is) an opportunity for them to get together and learn their rights and be counseled on things,” he said. “It’s in the news every day — women being abused. I think it’s a good education for our high school girls to go through, and maybe a support group.”

Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.

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