On Friday, a 54-year quest ended for the Knights.

No, they didn't find the Holy Grail. But the Bullard High School football team did succeed in nailing down the Division I valley championship in football. And that is a very good thing not just for our school, but as some folk recognize, for Fresno Unified in general:

Athletes are generally above-average students, a fact that goes against the image of 'jocks' that many of us carry in our personal stereotype folder.

I've known some athletes who were not good students, and we have all heard or seen instances in which the rules are sometimes bent for the popular, the pretty and the precociously talented. But that doesn't actually describe most high school athletes, who are not necessarily more popular, pretty or pampered. Typically, in order to play, they have to perform---not just on the playing field, but in the classroom.

Athletes must adhere to a demanding schedule of practice, travel and competition in addition to all the other obligations of students. In general, it takes awhile for most students to be able to find the necessary balance to do that and maintain a decent GPA. A thletes who shine as freshmen are typically above-average in the life skills department out of necessity.

Anyway, I am proud to be associated with the team, its hard-working coaching staff, and the school. I hope that it will lead to our school once again attracting more players away from the border with Clovis and Central Unified, and inspire us to success not only on the field, or in the classroom, but in life. A kid who achieves the balance necessary to be a true student-athlete has done something you can't assess with a Scantron, but which is arguably more important for their future than a lot of the content in the state standards.

1 comment:

RBH said...

Congrats to your guys. A personal take: I played high school football (as Al Bundy put it, "I served my country: I played high school football!"), and was salutatorian of my class. That seemed odd enough to the local newspaper to stimulate them to do a story on it. But half the starting offense of my team was in the Honor Society and they said nothing about that! Unfortunately, I was too self-absorbed at the time to point that out; it wasn't until some time later that it struck me as worthy of comment.