Football down? Running up? Six interesting trends in Connecticut high school sports participation


Though football participation overall has dropped in recent years, the number of girls playing the sport has risen consistently,

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Last week, a nationwide survey from the National Federation of State High School Associations revealed that high school sports participation had dropped in Connecticut to its lowest level in more than a decade, mirroring a broader national trend.

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For the sixth time in seven years, high school football participation declined in Connecticut from the fall of 2017 to the fall of 2018.

Though the drop was fairly modest, from 9,241 players to 9,059, the broader trend suggests trouble for the sport. Since its peak a decade ago, high school football participation has dropped 16.3 percent in Connecticut ‘ a sharper decline than the one that shows up in the national numbers.

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From the Archives: The Professionalization of Ivy League Sports

Let us begin with a period piece: a story that was startling when it happened, but today would be beyond startling, because it could not occur. In the fall of 1965, at freshman registration, Jack Barnaby ’32, then head coach of tennis and squash, sat behind his table in Memorial Hall, hoping to interest these freshest of freshmen in racquet sports. A young man who had come to Harvard from Bombay, India, approached and greeted Barnaby politely in British-accented English: ‘My name is Anil Nayar and I would like to try out for your squash team.’ The coach learned that Nayar had played squash, and invited him to Hemenway Gymnasium to hit a few balls and talk further.

Publisher: Harvard Magazine
Date: 2019-06-28T07:32:37-04:00
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State soccer: Pfanstiel defies the trends, lifts top-ranked Millard West with OT goal past upset-minded Spartans

Millard West’s Grace Ostergaard (left) heads the ball past Lincoln High’s Haley Peterson (5) as West’s Megan Kenny (25) and Katherine Stoneburner (right) look on Saturday during the Class A state semifinals at Morrison Stadium in Omaha.

OMAHA ‘ During a high school soccer season when there’s been a lot of discussion about club soccer players who aren’t playing for their high school team this year, it was a player who doesn’t play club soccer at all who had a major part in helping Millard West make it to the state championship match.

Millard West senior Chaise Pfanstiel scored two goals to lead top-ranked Millard West to a 2-1 overtime win against No. 5 Lincoln East in the Class A girls state semifinals on Saturday at Morrison Stadium.

Publisher: JournalStar.com
Date: 2019-05-11T16:45:00-0500
Author: Brent Wagner
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Certified trainers keep athletes safe from injury. So why do so few Maine schools have them?

Maine high schools lag behind others in New England and the national average in employing certified athletic trainers, widely considered the best line of defense when it comes to keeping young athletes safe from serious injury.

More than a third of Maine high schools offering varsity sports lack regular coverage by athletic trainers. Only 51 of those 143 public and private schools have full-time athletic trainers, who typically attend after-school practices as well as games.

The problem is most acute in small, rural school districts because of lack of funding or access to qualified medical personnel. Thirty-three schools without an athletic trainer have enrollments of fewer than 150 students.

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Publisher: Press Herald
Date: 2019-01-13T09:00:00+00:00
Twitter: @pressherald
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Coaches worry about future of high school football

When the coach of the winningest program in the state says he is worried about the future of high school football in Connecticut, it warrants concern.

Ansonia coach Tom Brockett, whose Chargers have won 20 state titles and finished runners-up 11 other times, said that if bad press about the safety of the game and its decreasing popularity don’t change, it may not be possible to sustain high school football in its current form.

‘If we continue this trend in decreasing roster size, it is quite possible high school football is in trouble,’ Brockett said. ‘When you start talking about the small schools or the (medium) schools or even some of the (large) schools that just haven’t had the success and the buy-in from the community (other schools) get, it becomes really scary.’

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