by Dennis Dalman
During the past Sartell-St. Stephen school year, participation by students in athletic activities increased by 38 students, and participation in non-athletic activities increased by five students.
That was one of the conclusions in a year-end report given to the school board in August by John Ross, the school district’s activities director.
Ross presented a power-point presentation at the last school board meeting.
Among his data are these facts:
• There were 983 students in athletic activities last year at the high school level, compared with 945 the year before. In the middle school, 703 students (grades 7 and 8) participated in some kind of athletic activity, compared to 684 in the 2010-2011 school year.
• As for non-athletic activities, there were 115 participants, up from 110 in the year before.
• There are 48 athletic programs in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District, including 20 at the middle-school level. There are 30 non-athletic high-school activities, 17 of them at the middle-school level.
• About 11 percent of students participate in some kind of non-athletic activity while about 30 percent are involved in athletic activities.
• Last year, there were 187 coaches/advisors in paid positions throughout the year, working with students after school.
The following is a list of athletic activities in the school district: baseball, basketball, cross-country skiing, Nordic ski racing, soccer, softball, strength and conditioning, swimming/diving, tennis, track-and-field, volleyball, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey and wrestling. Ross noted there is a growing interest in lacrosse, with a current boys’ team formed, and plans for a girls’ team next spring.
Non-athletic activities in the school system are drama, speech, band, jazz band, summer band, choir, student council, Photo Club, Math League, Ski Club, Young Authors, Mock Trial, National Honor Society, Knowledge Bowl and Yearbook.
Ross said new athletic leaders for the current school year are head football coach Scott Hentges, head girls tennis coach Bryan Bauman and new band director David Lumley. New or improved athletic facilities this school year include new scoreboards in the gymnasiums, new tiles in the pool, new middle school gymnasium floor and new track, football and tennis facilities at the middle school.
Also new are the option for high-school student passes. For a $30 fee, the pass entitles a student admission to any activity or event throughout the year. Athletic participation fees are $7 per week, with breaks given for students who are having financial hardships.