Petaluma High School sports have come a long way in the last 10 years, for better or for worse. The year 2026 has seen a dizzying array of innovations and changes in local sports, necessitated by school finances, player participation, fan interest, and degrees of parental support.
For starters, parents are grateful that they now only have to get temporary payday loans to finance their kids’ participation in football, rather than the home re-financings they were forced to get in the year 2019 when the school threatened to cancel all sports unless football ponied up more money. School officials turned around and socked it to the parents in the form of endless donations, fundraisers, raffle ticket sells, and burger flippings, all the while having to hear about how they weren’t loyal enough to the program or that they complained too much.
And then someone came up with the idea that the school officials needed to understand that, like it or not, football pays the bills, and, if high school football (and the other sports) were collectively more interesting and fun, they could draw donor funds and advertising. This could allow parents reasonable participation rates while permitting many to quit the second and third jobs needed to provide the sports funds.
This effectively put an end to the first parental rebellion of 2018, when the parents told the coaches/teachers/administrators that they could either complain that little Johnny is a spoiled brat that is impossible to coach/teach because parents enable/spoil/unduly protect him or stop extorting thousands of dollars out of them plus countless volunteer hours.
In another nod to keeping parents and kids’ sanities, the high school World Football Playoffs were shortened from a 512-team bracket that extended some schedules into February, playing in places like Ulan Bator, Mongolia, and Yerevan, Armenia to using the current highest-ranked four teams in each division format, thus allowing student/athletes to actually get some school work done, recover from injuries and reconnect with their classmates and families.
Some background may be needed for those who haven’t been reading the holographic papers these past few years. First, 10 years ago, some kids were getting injured while playing football. This was eliminated by the invention of a hybrid plastic/natural organic turf-morph, a genetically engineered, organic/polymer reinforced grass product that stays firm while the play is in progress, yet magically turns into a Nerf-like substance when the whistle is blown, thereby preventing many of the concussions and broken bones that formally occurred.
Coaches have long since been replaced by computers, as school officials reacted to the fact that football contests were becoming one-sided due to the gap between the haves and have nots. Fewer people were attending games, and all sports revenues were suffering.
In 2018, leagues were redrawn into those that recruit and throw the ball and those who don’t recruit and love to run the ball. In addition, Analy was made to pay a “luxury tax” to Elsie Allen, as a punishment for being so good and successful.
Computers were brought in to make decisions intended to make the scores closer and bring in more attendance. SCL101 was a failure as it tended to make all the scores 21-20 and all teams ended up at 5-5, which made attendance decline once again. SCL102 was introduced to correct this problem, and every team began taking turns going 10-0, 8-2, 6-4, etc., while the game scores became more like 49-48.