Popular San Francisco high school sports news website stays alive despite budget crisis


San Fran Preps highlights top Bay Area athletes in order to draw money. San Fran Preps was in dire a financial situation in the summer of 2011.

Jason Cinti, Staff Writer

Log on to SanFranPreps.com, one of the only sources of coverage for high school sports in the Bay Area, and you will immediately notice a “Help Keep SanFranPreps.com Alive” button in the top right corner.

According to the website, in the summer of 2011, Jeremy Balan, the founder of SanFranPreps.com, announced that “without an initial seed investment, SanFranPreps.com will not be able to continue coverage into the (2011-2012) school year.”

The website’s goal was to raise $60,000 by Aug. 1, 2011, but Balan was forced to extend the deadline to Aug. 15. At 4:35 p.m. on that day, SanFranPreps.com announced that it had raised $60,337 and would “officially be around for another exciting school year.”

Without SanFranPreps.com, smaller private schools in the Bay Area with rising sports programs such as Urban would go completely unnoticed.

SanFranPreps.com was founded in 2009 by Balan, who, according to the website, was “inspired to start a website focused entirely on the 30 high schools in San Francisco that feature athletics.”

In a phone interview, Balan said that “there are stories out there, and they are stories that aren’t being told. It is important for SanFranPreps.com to cover those stories.” SanFranPreps.com focuses on San Francisco with easy-to-access scores that include daily scoreboard updates.

Greg Angilly, Urban’s athletic director, said that he visits San FranPreps.com at least once a day. He enjoys the website because it “does a good job of covering all of San Francisco, not just the athletic powerhouses.”

Julian Matulich (’12), the center on the boys varsity basketball team, uses SanFranPreps.com to gather “information about the teams we will play,” and enjoys “seeing our team’s scores on the website.” Matulich’s name, along with those of juniors Nate Cohen and Matt Monges, appeared in the website’s Prep Report about the Jan. 12 game against Lick-Wilmerding High School, headlined “Urban Boys Basketball Stuns Lick-Wilmerding For First BCL West Win.”

Angilly especially likes this Prep Report section of the website, “where they post brief summaries of games, many of which are actually written by student athletes.”

As of now, the website is not looking for any financial support in the short term, yet it is still in search for more followers.

Balan said that in the future, “SanFranPreps.com is looking to start a more open donation drive.”

The success of the website will depends on these donations “We are probably going to have to raise a whole lot of money next summer just like we did this summer,” Balan said.

Angilly believes that the best way to support SanFranPreps.com is to “reach out to Balan and ask how they can assist without donating money.”

According to Balan, students who are passionate about sports reporting are more than welcome to contribute stories and photos. If you are interested, contact Jeremy Balan at [email protected]