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McClymonds High School Champions Thirst for Clean Water




McClymonds student athletes wheel a hydration system to the football field. The water is retrieved from the mother of the coach across the street from the school. Photo courtesy of Pat Patterson.

McClymonds High School Coach Mike Peters, like any other football coach, understands the need for clean water for his team’s hydration.  And his story is quite unique at the West Oakland high school – the first in Oakland to earn State Football Championship status in January 2017.

Each day, to provide clean water, he gets it from his mother’s home, across the street from the school.  He has two volunteers tote a 40-gallon portable water tank/hydration system on wheels to and from that house.

Peters has not been able to get clean water for the student athlete’s drinking or showering in the school’s gymnasium for over a year and a half. Peters came up with the creative solution to manage the immediate issue, until the water situation is handled.

“It’s a disgrace that the students have not had clean, safe water to drink”, cites Coach Ben Tapscott, Chair of the New McClymonds Committee. “We are proud that McClymond’s is the only high school in Oakland history to achieve the State Football Championship, and it’s unthinkable that Coach Peters has had to take these steps daily to provide for his students.”
Tapscott wants the situation cleared up immediately before the new school year begins. “They have tested the water for four or five months now, but the water runs with iron rust,” said Tapscott.

In seeking permanent solutions to provide fresh clean and  safe water to McClymonds students before the new school year starts, Tapscott met with the new Oakland school superintendent.

“In talking to the Oakland school superintendent, I was assured that the water project is going out to bid, and construction will start as soon as that is complete.”

Construction proposals include an above ground pipe system and an underground pipe system. Tapscott has also arranged for the daily deliveries of Alhambra Drinking water until the piping system is updated and flows with clear water.



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