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The AD Q&As: Matt Dixon, Trinity Classical Academy

Posted: July 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.

As Trinity’s athletic program expands, the school could add a boys soccer team and a varsity boys golf team.

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Trinity Classical Academy Athletic Director Matt Dixon has a lot on his plate.

For him and the rest of the school, everything is still new. The school just concluded its first season of varsity CIF athletics in almost every sport in 2010-11.

For now, Dixon is getting all the teams, coaches and paperwork aligned for the upcoming season.

Trinity rents from Northpark Community Church, which means it has no control over facilities built on campus. So far, a softball field is all the school has to work with, meaning every other team has to play home games elsewhere for now.

Dixon said an on-campus gymnasium could be in the school’s future, but likely not for a few years.

This year, the goal will be to book the majority of the home games within the Santa Clarita Valley.

For a small, upstart school like Trinity, it’s a start.

After a full year of varsity sports under your belt, what are your overall thoughts?

I think we definitely, myself included, we learned a lot, even just from the structural standpoint and how CIF works and getting through that first year, that inaugural year, and being able to take the program to the next level as much as possible. ... It’s amazing to think about what we were able to do with no seniors. I think we’re returning just about everybody and that makes it exciting.

What did you learn in the first year? Both good and bad?

Just the ins and outs of CIF and how all that works. We’re big on doing things the right way and we’ve been doing our best to go through all the books to make sure we’re doing everything we need to do. ... You can greatly affect and change a team’s outcome regardless of how good or bad they do. ... As far as structurally, what we have in place is a great building block on what we have for next year.

How difficult is it to start all these sports programs from square one like you guys have?

Some of it we just learned as it came. It’s not as if you can memorize the whole blue book. ... This was the first year ever having to deal with playoffs. We never knew how much paperwork was involved with all that. ... There are a lot of bylaws and we want to make sure we’re following all of them.

What teams do you feel like you can build on? Which ones do you want to build on?

Football is rule-all in the Santa Clarita Valley and I see that being the case. ... Everyone gets excited about football and I think we have some really quality coaches and we’ve got some pretty quality players, so I’m excited to see where that goes. ... Clearly, we have some really solid softball players as well. Those girls didn’t do as well in the playoffs as they would have hoped, but I think they’re pretty excited about it next year with everyone coming back. ... The other thing we’re looking into is having the girls soccer team join a league. It will be exciting to play in a league and play some consistent teams rather than the kind of pieced-together schedule that they had this year.

Are there any sports you hope to add as time goes on?

When we first started to become a CIF team, we had to maintain male and female sports every season, so we had to have at least six. We have been talking about sports that we could have. Last year, we had boys golf in the spring, but that was just JV, so we hope to be playing varsity next year in that. ... We had a lot of boys that wanted to play basketball in the winter, which is a good problem to have. We’ve toyed with the idea of having a boys soccer team and I think that’s a definite possibility, if not next year then the year after. ... When we first had our team and we were playing a JV schedule, it was almost the mentality of, “please play.” ... We’ve gotten to the point where we don’t have to beg anymore.

What are your plans for finding ways to host more competitions, especially in playoffs? Do you have plans to build facilities?

I know in their long-term plans, they do hope to continue building. I don’t know when that would be as far as building a gymnasium, which would obviously help with having a girls and boys basketball team. ... I could see it in the next five or 10 years growing quite a bit and being a substantial campus. ... Santa Clarita is a tough place as far as gyms and baseball fields. They get booked up pretty fast. It not only makes it expensive, it makes it difficult just to be able to find venues to host events.

Any thoughts of moving up divisions or changing leagues in the future?

I think where we are is a great fit. There are some good teams in the Omega League.

How do you plan on increasing the level of play and moving up to a Santa Clarita Christian-like level in football and eventually compete in 11-man?

Ultimately, the long-term goal where we would want to be is 11-man football. If we do want to have kids that want to go on and play in college, that would be more beneficial to them to play 11-man football. When that would be, as long as we have enough players and we can consistently keep the numbers up, I think we can be there. ... I don’t know if we’d be similar to SCCS where we’d have to see some success. They’ve done very well and (SCCS head football coach Garrick Moss) waited to move over to 11-man. I don’t know that we would necessarily have to have that kind of success to move up.

What has the addition of all these varsity sports done for the school? What are parents and students saying?

Both our student and our parent community are extremely involved, extremely excited. I’m surprised every time over how many parents just want to be involved and want to help out. ... (Parents) are actively very much involved, not only in the school’s life, but I think more importantly, they want to be involved in their son’s or daughter’s lives.


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