High School Sports are Losing Participants Throughout the US, but is it True for SHS too?

Athletics at Scappoose High School are following the trend that in the US, football is lacking in participants and losing athletes every year.

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High School Sports are Losing Participants Throughout the US, but is it True for SHS too?

Henry Goldammer

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In the United States, many high school sports are noticing changes in student turnout fluctuating from year to year. Football has been very popular sport in American high schools since the early 20th century, but in recent years schools have been noticing a decline athletes all around the US.

Here at SHS, the amount of athletes participating in football has dropped by 33% within the last three years.

Head coach, Sean McNabb says that some 6A schools that have taken a bigger hit than we have in regards to participation in football, and sometimes we have an off year. SMS however, has 60 players, which is promising sight for the high school football team in the season to come.

McNabb says, “If there is a decline, it is definitely because of concerned parents worried about concussions. Football has the highest amount of concussions compared to any other sport.” Concussions and injuries are the most common reason for students to not participate in football, which can be seen reflected in participant numbers.

Other sports have no linear decline, however there is change. Scappoose athletic director, Adam Strachan says “I believe that there are less people doing multiple sports, but that there are some (sports) that are increasing in participants, like lacrosse and girls wrestling. But football is definitely one of the sports that are dropping in participants at all age levels.

Some students are finding that they want to try new sports, like girls wrestling which we just started this year. Students are also going through Westview to play lacrosse, which might contribute to the change in participants in other sports.

Out of ten students, most said that they quit because they didn’t enjoy the sport anymore, or they felt that they weren’t good anymore. Junior Chase Elliott, stopped doing basketball and soccer freshman year. His reasoning was that he lost interest in them and wanted to focus more on golf. He wasn’t the only one who quit to focus on another sport just like Strachan said.  

According to the data below, SHS is following the trend of declining numbers in sports participation. This is due to students devoting more of their focus on to one sport creating less three sport athletes and also the growing awareness among parents on the effects of concussions.