COVID hit extracurriculars: Freshmen not into school activities as much

Sebastian Mantilla, reporter

There has been a decline in freshmen participation the past years since 2019 partly due to COVID-19 pandemic.

At Morton East’s Freshman Center, less than half of the 100 freshmen surveyed are either in sports or clubs (49 out of 100). 21 out 100 Freshmen surveyors said yes they are in sports and 28 out of 100 said yes they are a part of an extracurricular club; the remaining 51 students said they not in either club or sport.

Freshmen always make up the bulk of a sports team in tryouts as they are always the most excited and optimistic about sports because it’s their first year in high school. COVID-19 shut down had an huge impact on sports as much as it did the entire world. Per IHSA/HS sports are on their way back pre pandemic. Total sport participation decreased 4 percent due to pandemic from 2019; despite that, that were still some sports with an increase in participation.

Most sports experienced a decline in participation during the COVID shutdown but recovered and increased in participation the following year.  Each sport is expected to see more participation since the COVID shutdown as we return to normality.

IHSA managed to compile an High School Athletics Participation survey since 2019. The total amount of sports participants decreased by 4 percent with a total of 7,618,054 participants from the previous total of 7,937,491 figure of 2018-2019. The total is comprised of 4,376,582 boys and 3,241,472 girls.

Boys football decreased by 2.2 percent, both Cross country and wrestling for boys saw a decrease, wrestling had a 6 percent decrease and cross country had 14 percent decline. Although many sports saw a decline in participation, girls sports such as volleyball continued to rise in popularity and flag football for girls had a increase in popularity despite the COVID shutdown.

We are 95% confident that the interval (.391,.581) captures the true proportion of freshmen participation in school activites. (Thank you AP Statistics!)