New athletic program being used to track student health

Athletic Director Kathi Bowers transitions Paly over to Appryse for student athlete online registration

Palo Alto High School’s first year Athletic Director Kathi Bowers has modified the athlete registration for sports system to improve efficiency and to ensure student’s health checks are up to date.

Bowers has shifted from paper registrations to an online website, Appryse. Appryse is a web-based solution which is a replacement to the paper-based and Ticket-to-Play systems. Appryse replaces athletes’ paperwork with online forms. The site storages all information including contacts, medical history, doctor’s physicals and legal releases. Many high schools such as Henry M. Gunn, Saint Francis High School and Mercy High School have transitioned over to Appryse. As of this fall, Paly will be joining these schools and will require Appryse online registration for every student athlete.

All information is accessible to coaches from their smartphones eliminating the need for eligibility lists and coach’s binders. Coaches will know who is ready for tryouts in real time.

“[Appryse] improves privacy, because coaches will now use a smartphone instead of carrying binders,” Bowers said.

Senior football cornerback Chuck Stephenson believes that the new adjustments have been easier on the students and staff.

I think it is an easier and more organized process than what we had before. Appryse helped in that it is less of a hassle for the players to turn it in and for the coaches to collect them.

— Chuck Stephenson

Parents are now required to enter in all physical forms online. If the student is a returning athlete at Paly, they are only required to update and renew their information once a year. According to Bowers, all registration and physicals must be completed before season tryouts. Students are not permitted to play unless the registration has been completed and approved by Bowers.

According to Bowers, over this fall season, she has signed over 500 athletic registrations, including over 100 football players.

Along with the changes to the athletics registration system, Bowers also plans to improve the athletic department’s page on Paly’s main site.

“I want to make the website available to fundraisers and sports boosters for the athletics department,” Bowers said.

She is working on modifying the site so people can give donations, find practice schedules and find league matches.

In the past month, Bowers, along with the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), has organized sports booster fundraisers at restaurants such as Panda Express and The Counter. She is also organizing the annual Holiday Tree Fundraiser, where profits will be funded towards Paly athletics. Bowers plans to have more fundraising opportunities in hopes to contribute to Paly athletics.

For winter sports, tryouts begin on Nov. 2. All Appryse registration must be complete prior, or students will not be permitted to play until forms are in.  

Tennis player Alice Zhang agrees with Stephenson, in that, Appryse has been a beneficial change.

“In a way, it’s more convenient because I am very prone to losing things, so having an online registration system is really helpful, but I also don’t feel as much of a sense of urgency when it’s online,” Zhang said. “I’m not holding the papers in my hand, and those papers are what remind me to fill them out and get them turned in on time.”

“I’d imagine that it’d be helpful for coaches, since they don’t really have to collect papers and keep them secure; it’s more in the hands of the athletic director now,” Zhang said.

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