After three years of not having sports, Telesis Preparatory Academy will have its first athletic event on Tuesday.
As sports make its return to the school, newly hired athletic director Dan Kuch envisions a revitalized athletic department in the future. Although, he admitted, rebuilding the athletic department won’t happen overnight.
“It’s going to take us time to build a quality, well-suited program,” Kuch said. “We’re hoping through community support and community involvement that we could get people to come to our games.
“It’s little by little, but we’re hoping to get people to help out with not only coaching, but financial support by just coming to our games as well.”
Kuch isn’t new to local athletics, as he spent time as an assistant coach for the cross country and track teams at Lake Havasu High School from 2018-20. He left coaching after the 2020 cross country season.
Kuch has always been interested in the athletic director role and seized the opportunity when the Telesis position became available.
“I always wanted to be a part of a program where I kind of start from the ground up,” Kuch said. “Telesis hasn’t had any programs in the past three years so we’re starting from scratch in terms of no budget, no equipment and no nothing.”
Not only are resources scarce, the school has to hurdle transportation issues for its sports programs. Kuch said they have no form of transportation and are relying on other teams to travel to Telesis.
The Tigers have six games on their girls volleyball schedule – all of them taking place at home.
“It cuts our schedule in half, but we’re hoping by the end of the year that we have work through the transportation issue and we could be part of the Canyon (Athletic Association) league next year,” Kuch said.
Volleyball is one of three sports that Telesis is offering for the 2021-22 academic year. Currently, the volleyball team is only offered for middle school-aged girls. About 18 girls are playing volleyball for the Tigers. Kuch is currently the volleyball coach, but will eventually step away once athletic programs are established. He’s currently in the process of hiring coaches.
Basketball and soccer are the other two sports that Telesis plans to offer this year. The plan is to have two teams for basketball – one being for middle school boys and the other being a high school coed team. Soccer is being planned for the spring with a coed team.
The goal for the developing athletic department is to offer more sports as the years go on and eventually become a member of the Canyon Athletic Association, which features junior high and high school-level athletics.
According to CAA’s website, member schools include — but are not limited to — charter schools, district public schools, private schools, home school organizations and parochial schools. Telesis falls in the charter school category. Telesis is a non-profit tuition free charter school for students in kindergarten to 12th.
“Again, it’s just a building process,” Kuch said. “We just want to make it known that Telesis is offering sports and trying to turn things around because it’s been three years since they’ve had anything.”
Kuch’s three-year plan is to have at least two sports operating in the fall, winter and spring. His five-year plan includes having three sports occurring in each season.
Other sports that Kuch wants to eventually add are cross country, girls and boys basketball teams for both junior high and high school levels, coed soccer and beach volleyball, which isn’t offered at Lake Havasu High.
On Tuesday, the Tigers will host LePara from Parker for a middle school volleyball game at 4 p.m. It will be a doubleheader with the school’s seventh and eighth grade teams facing each other.
Telesis will then play Wallace Junior High from Parker on Sept. 15 and Oct. 13. The Tigers will play Thunderbolt on Oct. 11, which he hopes becomes an annual competition where they play for a perpetual trophy. He aims to have both Telesis and Lake Havasu High play for a similar trophy in basketball annually.
“I want to bridge the gap between Telesis and Thunderbolt and Telesis and the high school because we’re so close in proximity that, I mean there’s no reason for us to not be playing against each other and save on cost on transportation,” Kuch said.
The Tigers other volleyball games on the schedule include Desert Star from Fort Mohave on Oct. 14, followed by another matchup with LePara on Oct. 18 and they conclude the season with Emmanuel Christian Academy from Kingman on Oct. 19.