The Colorado High School Activities Association recently reported an all-time high number of students that participated in high school sports and activities during the last school year, 2018-2019.

Across the state, 143,614 athletes suited up, while another 56,100 students participated in activities. The state had 241,993 students enrolled in high school last year, and students were counted for each activity they participated in.

“We’re very happy to see that the opportunities for students continue to grow in Colorado,” CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said in a press release. “Colorado schools provide diverse and broad-based activities and athletics for students of all interests.”

With 41,499 participants, music was the organization’s largest activity.

Football was the most popular sport, with 16,888 athletes taking the field.

Following football were boys’ basketball (11,723), girls’ volleyball (11,672), boys’ track (10,243) and girls’ basketball (9,045).

Basketball also had the biggest increases from the previous year, with the boys’ sport growing by 27 percent and girls’ hoops growing by 24 percent.

Other sports that Salida’s Spartans compete in had the following participation numbers: baseball, 7,825; boys’ cross country, 4,122; girls’ cross country, 4,001; boys’ golf, 2,167; girls’ golf, 1,541; boys’ soccer, 8,241; girls’ soccer, 6,829; spirit, 5,670; girls’ swimming, 4,600; girls’ tennis, 4,053; girls’ track, 7,621; boys’ wrestling, 5,290; and competitive spirit, 5,670.

Speech also had 7,589 participants while student council had 7,012.

Girls’ and boys’ skiing had the smallest number of participants, with 274 and 247, respectively.

Salida also had one of the largest mountain bike teams in the state last year. The Colorado High School Cycling League, however, runs the sport, not CHSAA.

Today marks the first official day most fall teams can begin practicing, including football, volleyball, boys’ soccer, cross country and spirit.

Boys’ golf was allowed to begin last week and will be the first to compete. Salida High School golfers are scheduled to begin their season Aug. 19 in Florence.

The mountain bike team will compete next; its first race is Aug. 25 in Nathrop.

Salida’s boys’ soccer team will host a trio of teams Saturday for scrimmages to prepare for its Aug. 29 home opener against Cañon City.

The football team will host Olathe for a scrimmage on Aug. 23 and play its first game Aug. 30 at Summit.

Volleyball’s first game is scheduled for Aug. 27 at Lake County High School.

Salida’s boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams will have a tune-up Aug. 20 in Lake County and race for real Aug. 30 at Arapahoe.