By Jason Carpenter
Over the years, top athletes living in the Novato High district have made decisions to go to other schools such as Marin Catholic and San Marin for better athletic opportunities and careers in sports. Due to Novato’s poor sports reputation, the Hornets programs are losing top-notch athletes, especially in basketball and football.
The 2016 1st overall pick of the NFL draft Jared Goff, now the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, is a Novato native. Goff decided to go to Marin Catholic and had an amazing and memorable high school career, just not in his hometown. Goff represents a long list of players that Marin Catholic has stolen from Novato.
Novato High junior Mia Lawrence, cousin of Goff, discussed his decision.
“I think he chose MC because the sports programs excelled there,” said Lawrence. “When he went to MC, he was not only a football player, but he also played baseball and basketball. He also liked the strong academics they provided and most of his Sinaloa friends were going to MC.”
In 2011, the top players of the dominant Marin Catholic basketball team were from Novato. They ended up winning the MCAL championship, featuring all-league players David Ahern, Patrick Conroy, and Nick Calcaterra. Last year’s player of the year Joey Calcaterra, MCAL’s all-time leading scorer and University of San Diego commit, was also from Novato.
Nick Rolovich, Hawaii University’s football coach, is another big name from Novato. He was a star quarterback at Marin Catholic and Hawaii in the late 90’s before getting into coaching.
“I dislike the recruiting process quite a bit because there’s many good athletes at MC who should be going to Novato,” said Conor Mack, a sophomore multi-sport athlete at NHS with strong views on the subject. “The fact that if MC finds you on any Novato youth sports roster and sends you pamphlets, whether academic or athletic, and tries to recruit you by flaunting their facilities and their titles, makes me angry because there’s such a rich history at Novato in sports.”
If more of the top-tier athletes living locally went to Novato High, the Hornets would be much better at sports and would have a better reputation, as well as helping to get top players for future generations. Imagine Jared Goff playing football for Novato and leading the Hornets to a championship or the 2011 MC team playing at The Hive.
Greg Fister, Assistant Principal and interim Athletic Director of Novato High, believes better days are ahead for Novato sports.
“Actually since becoming assistant principal and the athletic director, I personally haven’t signed any transfers to Marin Catholic,” said Fister. “We’ve had other students move to other Marin schools based on living arrangements but personally, I have not seen an athlete go to Marin Catholic under my jurisdiction.”