For the first time since the late 1980s, North County Christian High won’t have a boys basketball team this winter.
And the small school based in Atascadero is also canceling girls basketball.
Because of a low enrollment of nine boys this year, athletic director Ken Hutchinson said composing a team would be too challenging.
“I think we probably could pull together a team of five boys, but then we’d have concerns about them staying healthy and having them have to play a full 32 minutes each game,” Hutchinson said. “If we have any 6-foot-10 guys show up anytime soon, maybe we’ll have a team.”
The school, which also doesn’t have football this fall, has suited up a boys basketball team each year since the 1986-87 season.
Hutchinson said there isn’t enough interest amongst girls at the school to field a team.
North County Christian has 22 female students, including all nine students that make up the sophomore class. But they are partial to other activities, such as mock trial, instead of basketball.
“In a small school like this, you can go around and take a poll and see if you can put a team together,” Hutchinson said. “But it’s official now. We won’t have one this year.”
Last year, the school didn’t have girls basketball for the first time “in a long time,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson said the school is “on the bubble” to field a softball squad right now.
North County Christian’s girls volleyball team, however, is thriving this fall. The Crusaders are 9-5-3 and 5-0 in the Coast Valley League.
Standout hitter Aliyah Morrison has tallied 159 kills thus far. Another Morrison sister, Madison Morrison, has racked up more than 100 digs. Serving specialist Gabrielle Morrison had 79 aces through 39 sets played.
“We’re in the hunt for a league championship,” Hutchinson said. “Volley- ball is the sport the girls are focusing on. And some are planning to play club volleyball (in the spring).”
Hutchinson said the school made a decision early to cancel basketball so other teams in the Coast Valley League could fill the voids in their schedule caused by North County Christian’s absence.
“A last-minute decision makes it hard for those schools to set their schedules up,” Hutchinson said.
Other Coast Valley schools include Coastal Christian, Valley Christian Academy, Coast Union, Maricopa, Cuyama Valley and Shandon, which didn’t field a football team this year.