Exploring the factors that affect spring sports numbers


If you are a student athlete, or just a fan, you may have noticed some changes in spring sports. With the dropping numbers on the track team, and having to make cuts from the softball team, what will 2024 have in store? The Geyser asked Park High Athletic director Nathan Parseghian how next year addition of spring baseball could affect participation in other sports. “It’s hard to say what our future numbers would be for each individual sport. The only way we would be able to do that is by going down the list of each individual player and thinking to ourselves, would this boy be interested in joining the baseball team?” Even this spring season, ten fewer athletes are on the track team compared to last year, causing Park High to have one of the smallest teams in class A. This makes it harder to earn points at meets and to qualify for state. With baseball a spring option in 2024, and Park High’s current lack of sports participation, it’s hard to tell if these teams will have players to fill the roster. The tennis team’s numbers stayed constant; however, the softball team saw an increase of four players for this season due to a new Montana High School Association (MHSA) rule allowing 8th graders to play. Track and tennis are less impacted by this rule change because SGMS offers track and there is no feeder program to develop tennis players before high school. “With eighth graders being allowed to play up into the high school level if they’re deemed ready, it allows the softball team to have a plethora of players. We have no idea if any of these players are able to make an impact on the varsity program; however, it gives them an extra year of development that players in the past didn’t have, so when they are freshmen next year, they will be able to have a step ahead of players in the past,” Parseghian