Some of the trends observed at the state level mirror what is happening at Sturgis. However, many of the numbers highlight the uniqueness of the Sturgis East sports program.
Total athletic participation at MIAA high schools increased during the 2014-2015 academic year for the tenth consecutive year. Data from member schools show that 230,664 student athletes out of 295,907 enrolled students participated on high school teams, reflecting a participation rate of 78 percent, although the survey does not account for students who played multiple sports throughout the year. This represents an increase of more than 2,800 players from the previous year. Statewide, football has the highest number of participants with 19,845 players. Boys’ lacrosse had the highest growth with 180 new participants. Track was the most popular girls’ sport with 13,239 participants and saw the largest increase, growing by 326 athletes from the previous year. Seventeen boys’ sports and sixteen girls’ sports were included in this survey. The boys’ participation number increased by 1,702 and the girls’ participation number rose by 1,144 from the prior year.
During 2014-2015 at Sturgis, boys’ participation was highest in basketball (40 athletes), followed by soccer (38) and baseball (25). Girls’ participation was highest in volleyball (36), followed by soccer (33) and lacrosse (25). According to the MIAA website, a total of 181 Sturgis male athletes and a total of 194 Sturgis female athletes played on school teams. The larger overall number of girls at Sturgis can explain the larger number of female athletes at Sturgis. The total number of Sturgis athletes increased slightly compared to the 2013-2014 academic year, eight more males and six more females. Track, only recently established at Sturgis, was the fastest growing sport for both boys and girls.