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The new football schedule at Pine Bluff High School demonstrates academic progress



Pine Bluff, Arkansas – Following the implementation of a new schedule that prioritizes grades, more student-athletes at Pine Bluff High School are being recognized on the honor roll.

The lads now practice before class and participate in tutoring or study hall after school, thanks to a new initiative from head coach Michael Williams.

To raise the team’s GPA, Pine Bluff’s football coach alters the practice schedule.

The team’s average GPA was 2.2 at the start of the academic year; by the time we reach the second semester, the squad has improved to an average of 3.0.

Since Coach Williams developed a new schedule, football players at Pine Bluff High School have been pushing themselves to make the honor roll.

“I want them to be whatever they want to be, but I know it has to start with academics,” Williams said.

It is paying off after several months of arduous work, increasing the team GPA from 2.2 to 2.7.

“We actually had at least 28 of the 75 players that’s receiving awards for academics, it averages out to about 37% who are on there of the whole school body that’s getting an award for merit list, honor roll, AB honor roll or principles list,” Williams stated.

Coach Williams was overjoyed when the second nine-week honor roll list was released on Monday.

“I got a little emotional because some of my kids have never,” Williams said.

MaClain Heisler is one of those youngsters, but when his name turned up on the list on Monday, things changed.

“The after-school tutoring that is the only reason that I made it because, if I go home, I’m not doing the work, so that hour and a half gave me opportunity to actually do the work I needed to do,” Heisler said.

“At first I wasn’t focused, I was hanging around with the wrong crowd, not the wrong crowd, but going to other teachers’ classes, but now since coach has talked to me, I have been focused,” football player, Lamarion Ross said.

“GPA going up, grades getting higher, next time I’m going to be on the merit list,” football player D’Juan Hayes said.

There are often roughly 30 players on the team who make the honor roll, according to Coach Williams.

Williams said there is still a lot of work to be done but he is extremely proud of the guys’ hard work.

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