For the third year in a row, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School students have shown that they excel both on the field and in the classroom.
Principal Maryellen Symer has announced that BH-BL is again on track to be named a state "School of Distinction" based on the fact that all 26 of its varsity interscholastic sports teams -- plus the boys and girls crew teams* -- have been named "Scholar-Athlete" teams for achieving grade point averages above 90 percent.
Scholar-Athlete Team recognition is an honor given by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) to recognize teams that excel in academics.
In any given year, hundreds of individual NY interscholastic teams earn Scholar-Athlete status, but very few high schools are named a "Scholar-Athlete Team School of Distinction" by having ALL their varsity teams earn a GPA of 90 percent or higher.
Schools have until June 30 to report their data to NYSPHSAA. School of Distinction award results are typically announced in September.
NYSPHSAA sets the rules for this award. To be named as a Scholar-Athlete Team, the organization requires that a specific number of varsity athletes achieve a grade point average of 90 percent or higher. Since some sports require more participants than others, the number of student athletes used to calculate a given team's grade point average varies.
For instance, the number of varsity athletes whose GPA must be 90 percent or higher is 12 for the football, field hockey and track teams, but only 8 for volleyball and ice hockey.
Below are the grade point averages calculated for each BH-BL team under NYSPHSAA rules this year.
Boys Cross Country: 94.941
Girls Cross Country: 97.680
Field Hockey: 96.378
Girls Soccer: 93.419
Boys Soccer: 93.044
Girls Swimming: 93.773
Girls Tennis: 94.871
Boys Volleyball: 92.688
Girls Volleyball: 96.042
Boys Basketball: 93.42
Girls Basketball: 91.591
Ice Hockey: 93.948
Boys Swimming: 92.918
Girls Indoor Track: 97.538
Boys Indoor Track: 95.175
Girls Lacrosse: 96.457
Boy Lacrosse: 93.025
Boys Tennis: 93.704
Boys Track and Field: 95.774
Girls Track and Field: 97.828
Earlier this year, NYSPHSAA also named the BH-BL field hockey team the "Scholar-Athlete State Champion" because their team GPA of 96.378 was the highest team GPA of all 172 girls field hockey teams achieving Scholar-Athlete status in the state.
Based on the fall and winter results announced so far this year, two other BH-BL teams have GPAs that are noticeably high in comparison to other teams statewide.
Both the boys and girls varsity rowing teams have also been named Scholar-Athlete Teams because at least nine rowers on each team earned a grade point average of 90% or higher.
Rowing is organized under the NY State Scholastic Rowing Association rather than the NYSPHSAA mentioned above, but in 2009 the state Rowing Association also began honoring Scholar-Athlete teams.
"This is an outstanding accomplishment for the teams and the rowing program," says athletic director Bob McGuire. "Now we do have every team reaching this level."