Spring sports draw nearly half of SWHS students

For first-year Athletic Director Kelly Kirk, spring has been a great sports season so far.

The season started Monday, March 3 and nearly half of the South Whidbey High School student body is registered for one of the eight teams. Out of the 490 students, 215 turned out for spring sports this year — an improvement from the 193 Falcons in 2013.

Track and field under second-year head coach Mark Eager has the largest draw and saw the biggest gain from last year’s roster with about 75 students signed up.

“That’s certainly a big driver behind the numbers,” Kirk said, who added that the coaches’ enthusiasm for their sports has galvanized athletes.

“That comes through on the kids and gets them excited.”

Asked if he or the district had implemented a “get out and be active” drive for students’ athletic participation, Kirk laughed.

“I wish I could claim that, but it was much more organic than that,” he said. “It’s a small town and there’s not a lot to do; might as well get out and play sports.”

Boys golf head coach Steve Jones said he had 18 students registered, comparable to the number he had last year. New for him was a large influx of freshmen — seven — whom he hoped would be led by a pair of seniors who played on the team for four years.

“They’re going to be really good role models,” Jones said of the seniors.

About 40 girls were in the girls tennis program, said Kirk, who called the team a South Whidbey “institution” with head coach Karyle Kramer.

The spring season offers more sports than fall and winter with eight teams: boys and girls track and field, boys and girls golf, boys soccer, girls tennis, baseball and softball. Spring also carries a higher attrition rate as the season reaches into May when weather typically turns from rain to sunshine and the possibility of a postseason becomes better defined.

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