Sharing a Pool and Possibly Field Lights: Novato High and San Marin High Sports Programs Cooperating


Photo courtesy of Hannah Nicholas

Hannah Nicholas, Reporter

The topic of sharing sports facilities is nothing new for the two Novato high schools. For nearly six decades, Novato High and San Marin High have shared a pool, where both schools host water polo games, swim meets, and practices. Recently, NUSD settled the long-argued dispute between San Marin and the San Marin community overusing the $1.6 million field lights. Now, the question remains, will Novato High be allowed or even want to host games on the field?

Sharing a pool has been discussed among many of the athletes throughout the years. Many athletes believe it would be fair for San Marin to allow Novato High to host lacrosse, soccer, and football games under their lights if they so desired. 

“Overall, I think because we are in one community, we can make it work. But, it is a disadvantage to the development of both teams. Most teams have about two hours. We have an hour and fifteen minutes, leaving us to be disadvantaged,” said Denise McIntyre, the Novato High varsity swim and girls water polo coach.

“It is what we have to do. Swimming pools cost a ton to maintain so having two in the Novato District is not an option right now. I feel like the coaches do a pretty good job working together to make sure all teams get equitable time each season,” explained NHS athletic director Michele Smith.

Senior Becca Janssen discussed this topic.

“I think it would be fair to ask them to let us use their lights because if the district is willing to make us give up our pool time, not give San Marin a pool, and not willing to give (us) our school lights, then they should be fine enforcing San Marin to give us field time under the lights,” Janssen explained.

“It’s definitely not ideal for either team, because it means less practice time which means not as good of an aquatics program at either school. It makes it harder to host meets and games,” Colin Eilerman, a San Marin Junior, explained.

“I think that Novato trying to use San Marin’s lights is okay if we only use it for 1 or 2 games a year, but I personally think that all schools should get lights, especially with the new school schedule,” said NHS senior Cole Morris, who is a member of the boys’ water polo and lacrosse teams.

The true question is, whether or not NHS will be sharing San Marin’s field lights. 

“According to the agreement that was just signed by the NUSD Board of Trustees, the San Marin field is available to Novato High School for 2 football games per year. We will not use San Marin’s field this year.  We will work with them during the 2022-2023 school year to see which games we can host there,” explained NHS Athletic Director Michelle Smith.