The Dolphins are back in Manteca.
“We are so happy and pleased to say that we are swimming back in our home town,” said Lori Brubaker, the president of the Manteca Dolphins which had been using the Lathrop High School pool during the last several months for their daily weekday swimming tryouts and weekend meets.
The first day of their return to Manteca was Monday, May 2, with the young swimmers treading water at the East Union High School pool.
Having the venue-change request granted by the school district was reason enough for the Dolphins to be ecstatic. But they were even more pleasantly surprised at the quick action taken by school district officials in granting their request. Superintendent Jason Messer, who admitted he was the one who made the decision to assign the Lathrop High pool to the Dolphins, promised the group that he was going to look into their request and notify them via letter.
“We never got a letter from Mr. Messer,” Brubaker said. Instead, she received an e-mail a few days later from the superintendent’s secretary notifying the Dolphins about being moved back to the Lancers’ pool in Manteca.
“We are very thankful to Mr. Messer for moving us to East Union,” said Brubaker.
Not happy about having to drive to Lathrop for the swim events, Brubaker and about a dozen parents of the young swimmers went before the Manteca Unified School Board of Trustees at their meeting in April and requested that their swimming venue be moved back to Manteca. They presented a number of reasons for their request.
First off, they pointed out that they are the Manteca Dolphins, not the Lathrop Dolphins. The skyrocketing gas prices at the pumps also have been hitting the parents’ pocketbooks given the daily trips to Lathrop High on weekdays and on the weekends. There was also the inconvenience of having to drive up to eight minutes one way to get there when there are pools in Manteca that were practically just a skip and a hop away from their homes. Just as big a concern to the organization was the fact their membership took a 15 percent nosedive when they started meeting in Lathrop.
Brubaker and her group also pointed out that some of the swim meets are family events that often went from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. prompting families to hit the restaurants or other business establishments. That’s revenue that the Manteca Dolphins parents would rather see infused in their hometown coffers, Brubaker told the district officials. In that sense, she said, “Lathrop is taking tax dollars from Manteca.” And while those tax dollars are not quite substantial, it was still a “big concern,” Brubaker said.
“It just didn’t seem right to be going to Lathrop,” she reiterated during an interview on Monday.
While they do have “some kids from Lathrop” involved with Manteca Dolphins, there are only about 20 of them out of their total membership of 140, she said.
Membership is open to boys and girls from ages 5 to 18. “Some of our kids are from Sierra, East Union and Manteca high schools,” Brubaker said.
They meet every day from April to mid-July five days a week, with swim meets taking place on the weekends.
Membership fees are $105 for Manteca residents, $115 each for non-residents. The fees are for trophies, lifeguards, coaches’ salary and the $20 fee to the Manteca Parks and Recreation Department. Manteca Dolphins is part of the programs offered through the city Parks and Rec.
Brubaker said the Manteca Dolphins offers “great things for kids to do in the summer. We encourage families to come and try out.”
The try-outs are held after 5 p.m. every day during the week at the East Union swimming pool.
For more information about the Manteca Dolphins, visit their web site at www.mantecadolphins.com or call Lori Brubaker at 925-451-2333.