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Balancing academics and athletics

Local 15's Katie Herrera stopped by McGill-Toolen High School to make sure their athletes stay on track in the classroom.

As students head back to school this year, the age old balance between academics and extracurriculars will no doubt be a challenge for many families. Local 15's Katie Herrera stopped by McGill-Toolen High School to make sure their athletes stay on track in the classroom.

State champions on the field and state champions on the court, McGill-Toolen is a dominant force in athletics, with around 70 Yellow Jacket alumns playing in college right now.

"I always say it's a testimony to not only the coaches who are able to prepare them for the next level, but also to our teachers who prepare them as well in the classroom to compete on the next level. We have athletes at places like vanderbuilt, mit, university of texas. So they're competing well and they're performing well academically in college. And we're proud of that record as well," said Athletic Director Bill Griffin.

They put a focus on finding that balance, between athletics and academics. Many coaches require weekly grade reports, they'll swap practice for study hall if needed, and there's a strict pass to play policy.

The newest academic advisor is volleyball Coach Kate Wood. She's been designated the ncaa compliance coach, making sure every athlete has the act score and GPA to get into the college of their choice.

"NCAA gpa is a little different than a weighted gpa you would turn in to your colleges. Your weighted gpa will include everything that you've done. NCAA just wants to know about your core courses. So it's a little harder. If you're not doing well in English, but you're doing really great in art, that's not going to help you," said varsity volleyball and NCAA compliance Coach Katie Wood.

McGill also offers ACT classes four times a year leading up to each testing, to help the students get comfortable and confident before sitting down for the big test.

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