top of page


Aptos, Calif. - Last week marked a momentous night for the Aptos Sports Foundation and the future success of student-athletes for generations to come at Aptos High School and its feeder programs. 

In a 7-0 vote, the Pajaro Valley Unified School District board unanimously passed the Youth Recreation Agreement between the district and the non-profit organization. Historically, the ASF and PVUSD have partnered on projects at the high school and junior high school under a Declaration of Cooperative Support and Collaboration Agreement. Wednesday’s MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) solidifies the relationship between the two and provides a streamlined process for project review, design, and construction. 

Brett McFadden represented the ASF board in the presentation of the Action Item on the agenda. President and Founder Paul Bailey spoke about starting the foundation in 1979 and the projects that have been done over the last 45 years at the school. Aptos High Girls Soccer Coach and alumni, Gina Castaneda, followed; speaking of her time as a young person struggling to find safety and stability in a gang-riddled home. At one point homeless, Mariner coaches and teammates were her only home and family.  Castaneda said when she decided to come back and coach at Aptos, she was ridiculed by the Watsonville community for not taking a job in that community. Castaneda said, “At that time I had very few role models who looked like me. Now, there are many Latinas who I can be a role model for at Aptos High. I understand them, their struggles, and I want to be there for them, just like my coaches and mentors were for me.”  Castaneda is a shining example of the Aptos Sports Foundation mission to develop community leaders of tomorrow by providing a quality student-athlete experience for the youth of Aptos.” 

Athletic Director Travis Fox wrapped up the presentation by pointing to statistics that served as a reminder for why Aptos has put such an emphasis on sports as an opportunity to teach their students valuable life lessons.  Forty percent of the Aptos High School student body come from low-income families. Meanwhile, sixty percent of the student population play at least one sport. Currently, Aptos High School has the largest sports program in the county; that includes Cabrillo College and UC Santa Cruz. 

Trustee Dr. Jennifer Holm asked about projects at any of the elementary sites so far. McFadden explained that the focus has been at the high school campus improving, upgrading, and in some cases completely renovating the facilities. Recently, the ASF has expanded efforts to the Aptos Jr High with a floor renovation and first ever painting of the school gym. “We certainly are open and exploring any way we can help at the elementary sites as well,” said McFadden. 

In its 45 year history, the sports Foundation has raised six million dollars, and that total climbs to over 10 million once in-kind donations are included. One hundred percent of funds raised are put back into the athletic programs.   

Years ago, the Sports Foundation started an endowment fund that is housed at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County. Their goal is to have a fund of one  million dollars, with a long term stretch goal of five million dollars. These assets will be held in perpetuity to fund an annual operating budget for facility maintenance and needed safety upgrades as well as first aid supplies, team training equipment as well as a new scholarship fund. The Bobby Salazar Scholarship fund was created in 2020.  The $1,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a student who exemplifies Bobby’s spirit of community service, hard work, and Mariner values. 

The most immediate project in the works for The Aptos Sports Foundation is Holcomb’s Landing. This addition to Trevin Dilfer Stadium, is named after the late Mark Holcomb, and  will be built in the north endzone and feature a landscaped gathering area with a large brick “A.” 

If you would like to leave a lasting legacy for you or your family by purchasing a brick, donating to the endowment fund or participate in one of the annual fundraisers, and to learn more about the ASF, visit or email


Commenting has been turned off.
Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page