More students participate in sports
Participation in sports has increased at Wilton High School, according to athletic director Chris McDougal, who provided an update on the school’s athletics program during the Board of Education’s Dec. 7 meeting.
“Total participation so far this year, we’re up 66 athletes so far this year — and that is not including the upcoming [spring] season, which is our most popular,” said McDougal, noting that this year’s fall sports participation, with 466 students, is the highest he’s seen in his five years as athletic director.
“On average, we have about 60% of students who will play at least one sport, and I am expecting that to go up this year,” he said.
The high school currently has 30 sports teams and one “special” team, said McDougal, with nine sports offered in the fall, 12 in the winter and 10 in the spring. Cheerleading is active in both the fall and winter.
The school also holds sporting events for Wilton United, its new unified sports team.
Wilton United is “a combination of athletes with special needs, student athletes and their helpers,” said McDougal, where “students work together in a sport of choice so they can experience the wonderful world of competition.”
“We’ve already hosted one event this year — soccer,” said McDougal, “and we’ll be hosting a basketball event [and] hopefully indoor track this winter.”
Wilton High School’s Athletic Steering Committee — which reviews the athletics handbook, vision statement and core values — is looking for someone interested in serving on it, said McDougal. The committee’s goal this year, he said, is to “formulate a plan for every parent and player to sign off on a code of conduct before they step on a field starting next year.”
The high school has a new student-run committee called the Class Act Council that promotes sportsmanship within Wilton High School.
“They’re formulating what they believe are their core common values for athletics and how they want people to act at games — the players, parents and the fans,” said McDougal.
“They will not have to discipline anybody — that would be our job — but if anybody’s acting out based on one of their rules, there will be some consequences.”
Wilton High School will host “a plethora of season events” this year, said McDougal.
The school hosted the Fairfield County Interscholastic Conference (FCIAC) girls soccer semifinals this fall, he said, and will host the FCIAC Eastern Indoor Track Championship, as well as both the semifinals and the finals for FCIAC boys basketball this year.
On top of hosting the FCIAC championships for both boys and girls tennis this year, Wilton High School will host the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) Boys Tennis Championship.
“CIAC just called me last week asking if they can use our brand-new tennis courts to host the boys tennis championships for the state of Connecticut,” said McDougal.
One CIAC sports team Wilton does not have is boys volleyball, said McDougal, but there is interest.
“We have a young man — a senior named Joel Darkwah — who has been really trying the last couple years to gain the interest in volleyball,” said McDougal.
Boys volleyball is a spring sport in which six players play at a time, said McDougal, but “a few more than six” students would be needed to form a team.
“We actually have a teacher on staff who’s interested in coaching that boys team if we can gain the interest,” he said, “and this year, we are going to start a club team.”
Boys volleyball wouldn’t be an expensive sport to bring to the high school, said McDougal — “we’d just need [more] interest.”
Click here to learn more about athletics at Wilton High School.