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Extra curricular activities remain popular at BHS

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Participation in 25 extracurricular activities has stayed fairly constant over the past six years at Bandera High School. Principal Gary Bitzkie presented a data report to the Bandera ISD board of trustees at their regular meeting held Tuesday, August 12, that showed the number of students participating in each activity.
Tentative pre-enrollment figures show that participation in girls track, boys track, boys power lifting, golf, one-act play and debate will be about the same as 2012-13.
Extracurricular activities showing slight drops in possible enrollment for the 2013-14 school year are art, dropping from 265 to 245; dance, dropping from 14 to 12 participants; ag, dropping from 335 to 330; girls and boys cross country dropped one or two participants; girls basketball dropped from 45 to 42; girls and boys soccer both dropped a few athletes; and softball and baseball numbers are also down slightly.
Of course, for some of these sports, it's early in the year to get an accurate count as to the number of participants.
Activities showing slight increases in enrollment include cheerleading and boys basketball.
The music program has seen the most dramatic increases, with choir numbers predicted to be around 112, up from 66 students last year. "The Bulldog Marching 100 may have to change its name," said Bitzkie. "They have about 143 musicians participating this year!"
Boys cross country may have over 30 runners this season. The volleyball squad has grown from 38 athletes to 45. In the football program, there are 125 participants, up from 110 last season. Tennis is also seeing a jump, up to 35 from 25 last year.
The cross country program, both boys and girls, has nearly doubled in the number of participants since 2008-09. Girls soccer has more than doubled in that time period, as has boys track and the softball program.
According to Dr. Randy Brown, extension specialist with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension service, there are many benefits of youth participation in extracurricular activities, whether it be athletics, music, clubs or student government.
Brown said that research has found that youth who participate in extracurricular activities are more likely to:
• Have better grades;
• Have higher standardized test scores;
• Have higher educational attainment;
• Attend school more regularly;
• Have higher self-concepts.
Brown added that youth who participate also have been found to be less likely to:
• Abuse substances;
• Drop out of school;
• Misbehave at school;
• Commit delinquent acts.