10/05/12 The number of student athletes in Plymouth High School showed a drop in the 2011-2012 school year, but the number of contests they participated in rose.

Athletic Director Roy Benge presented his annual report to the Plymouth School Board on October 2. Benge said the total number of participants was 685, but the number was compiled counting the participants in each sport and reflects many who are involved in more than one sport. In the 2010-2011 school year that total were 681. Benge explained that last year’s senior class was small and contributed to the lower number.

According to Benge, the number of students involved in athletic programs was approximately one-third of the PHS student population.

However, the contests that were held rose to 784, up from 770 in 2010-2011. In the school year 2009-2010, the number of contests was an all-time high in five years coming in at 821.

Benge said he is proud of the academic efforts of those involved in the athletic programs. The average GPA (Grade Point Average) for athletes in 2011-0212 was 8.588 (B average) compared to 6.675 of non-athletes (C average). The average GPA of those participating in the girls tennis program was 10.3, girls golf team hit 9.7 and girls basketball at 9.5. Over the last five years, the average GPA of athletes ranged from 8.508 to 8.858.

Although the income during the 2011-2012 season was the highest in history at $402,027.75, the expenses were some $15,000 more. Benge said receipts from the concession stand and other things were down. In addition, the Athletic Department replaced uniforms in nine sports, made needed improvement to the baseball field, and remodeled some of the indoor spaces.

Overall, however, the available cash balance for the program is $212, 504.42. Tournament expenses were nearly identical for the 2011-2012 year and the 2010-2011 year. Last year the expenses topped $105,683 compared to $105,928 the year before.

Hitting the teams hard were costs for transportation. All summer transportation is paid for by the students or their families. Charges for the use of the athletics bus and van came in at $11,195.90 last year.

Benge said, “There were over 50 local business contributing to our teams.”

Overall, there were 16 instances of identified violations of the Code of Conduct, only one less than in 2010-2011. Benge said some violations were discovered within the random drug testing that is used for all PHS students.

Several athletes were recognized in All Conference, All State or Academic All State honors. According to Benge, 20 were named to the NLC All Conference, 14 were Honorable Mention NLC All Conference, 10 in the Academic All Conference, 6 included in Academic All State, 7 falling in Honorable Mention All State, and 1 in North-South All State Team. Two of the 2011-2012 athletes were named to the Athletic Hall of Fame.

Carol Anders Correspondent