Athletics department misses chance for $5000

Athletics department misses chance for $5000

Daniel Tan

A total of 145 schools competed to have the most likes on their school’s Facebook picture. The contest ended on Dec. 31 at midnight, with Independence High School, the winner, receiving $5000 for their athletic department. Photo used with permission by Cole Weeks.
“‎2231 LIKES! IT’S INDEPENDENCE 76er’s!!!”

The announcement on the Honda of Oakland’s Facebook page on Jan. 1 told everything someone following the Honda of Oakland and Cal-Hi Sports contest needed to know: Independence High School had won. Which meant MVHS had lost.

The rules of the contest were easy — simply log onto your Facebook account, access the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area 2011 folder on the Honda of Oakland page, and like your school’s photo. Whichever school that had the most likes by the midnight of Dec. 31 won the $5000 prize towards its athletic department.In total, 145 Bay Area schools were listed in the contest, all hoping to win the cash prize, although only 59 schools effectively competed with at least 5 likes. MVHS ended the month in second place, with 1568 likes on its photo.

According to MVHS athletic director Jeffrey Thomas, one of the reasons it lost the competition was because of Independence’s much larger student body.

“We [were] kind of at a disadvantage compared to the school in front because they have like 4000 enrollment,” Thomas said. “They have a lot of kids and they’re pretty motivated.”

The official numbers show Independence having 3409 students last year compared to MVHS’s current 2519.

The contest, which originally started in October 2011, was coordinated by both the Honda of Oakland dealership and the high school sports show Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area, a partner program of KOFY TV Channel 20 (Cable 13). It was created as a result of the current state of the economy and budget cuts to education.

“[Channel 20] wants to be able to give back to the schools as a part of the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area show,” Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area executive producer Robert Braunstein said.

Thomas was initially approached to participate in the contest by a CCS commissioner, who helped spread the word to all Bay Area schools. Although all schools were invited to participate, not all of them acted on it. However, enough schools joined the competition to make it a success.

“It’s something that we’ve never done before, so we were very excited about how it was going to work,” Channel 20 representative Robert Engelhardt said. “So far, it has worked out very well.”

Although the contest ended on Dec. 31, a second competition will begin later in the year, granting another $5,000 cash prize to the winning Bay Area school.