Performing where it counts: Teams earn high marks

July 2013 Posted in School, Sports

James DayBy James Day

There is this familiar NCAA television ad which shows folks in judicial robes playing basketball and people in the garb of other occupations playing other sports.

The message the NCAA is trying to deliver is that most people who are involved in sports wind up in careers that have nothing to do with athletics.

Which is why what a person does in the classroom is almost always more important than what they do on the ball field, court or track.

Which is why I love reporting on the OSAA’s all-academic awards. It’s about athletes doing great things in class, too. And students deserve recognition for that.

Here is a look at what the numbers show for the 2012-13 school year:

Kennedy’s volleyball team turned in a terrific performance, leading all volleyball squads in Class 2A with a composite 3.93 grade point average. The Trojans’  baseball team also finished No. 1 in its class with a 3.58 GPA.

“We’re very proud of our athletes, all of our teams earned above 3.0 this year,” Kevin Moffat, the athletic director and baseball coach at Kennedy said. “The baseball team has finished first or second in GPA the past 3 years at least. We realize we won’t have many pro athletes, but we will have a lot of professional people. Academics are the No. 1 thing. If we aren’t doing well in the classroom we just cancel (baseball) practice and have team study hall. The kids take pride in it, and we hope to continue it. Our girls programs are amazing academically. Another cool thing is our teachers at all our schools take pride in it, a pretty awesome community thing.”

The JFK softball team tied for first with Union/Cove at 3.73.

Kennedy also finished 10th in boys track and field (3.18 GPA), tied for sixth in boys basketball with Waldport (3.43 GPA), was fifth in cheerleading (3.07 GPA) and tied for ninth in football with Weston-McEwen-Griswold (3.01).

Four other Kennedy teams finished with GPAs above 3.0, although they didn’t finish in the top 10 in their class: Girls track and field turned in a 3.34 GPA,  girls basketball compiled a 3.46 GPA, girls cross country was at 3.46 and boys cross country finished with a 3.14.

Kennedy also took fifth in Class 2A in the Oregonian Cup, which ranks schools on the depth and overall strength of their athletic programs.

Silverton’s best finish in the all-academic rankings was third in Class 5A boys cross country with a 3.82 GPA.

Other Foxes teams to rank in the top 10 were boys track and field (ninth, 3.52 GPA), boys basketball (seventh, 3.49), cheerleading (tied for eighth, 3.26) and dance/drill (tied for ninth, 3.42) and girls cross country (ninth at 3.83). That’s right, ninth at 3.83.

It was one of the strongest showings regardless of class, with Madison leading at 3.97 and Hood River Valley and Marist tying for 24th at 3.51.

Silverton featured a number of other teams that compiled 3.0 or better GPAs but did not make the top 10 academic teams.

They included: boys baseball (3.30), softball (3.42), boys tennis (3.27), girls tennis (3.61), girls track and field (3.54), band (3.19), choir (3.24), speech (3.26), wrestling 3.05, boys swimming (3.21), girls swimming (3.50) and girls basketball (3.30). Silverton finished 15th in the Oregonian Cup all-sports competition.

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