BCHS football coach Ryan Sulkowski released his fall academic report last week showing large gains for his team during the first semester of the 2011-12 school year.
The team’s average GPA increased from a 2.69 last spring to 2.73 this fall. Football players collected 171 As, 168 Bs, 142 Cs and only 48 Ds and 27 Fs during the semester.
Sulkowski was very pleased with the improvements.
“As a football program we pulled together as a staff and made a commitment to improving the academics here at Baker County High School,” said the coach. “When I arrived the academic situation was awful in regards to our football student athletes and that was something that I knew we needed to immediately put an emphasis on.”
Sulkowski says that the coaching staff stresses academics on a regular basis. “These young men need to know that someone is constantly monitoring their academic progress. On a daily basis we have constant contact with about 8 percent of our student body, which is our football team. When they hear about it every day it sinks in and I believe that is where we are now,” he said.
He is particularly proud of the drop in ineligible players. Only two players were ineligible this school year, a drop from a two-year high of 15 in spring 2010.
Football players are coming to school more, averaging only 3.58 days absent.
The coach believes that the improvement in the athletic grades can have a positive effect throughout the school.
“I can’t help but think that in some little way we have been part of the solution in improving our school grade,” said Sulkowski. “Athletes are natural leaders, so when a football player is focusing on the lesson being taught, it impacts other students in the class, just as if a football player was being a disruption, others in the class are more likely to do the same.”
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