The Algonac (Mich.) football team has an NFL-style combine after each marking period in school. In addition to including the fitness tests – such as the 40-yard dash, vertical leap, broad jump and agility tests – in a player’s score, Barnhart and his staff include academic disciplines, such as school attendance, tardiness and GPA.
The combine has 14 categories that are graded on a 4.0 scale.
“That counts toward a player’s football grade,” Barnhart said. “They get a three-page document that serves as their football report card. It displays all of the results of the combine and what we feel is tangible in terms of character, discipline, and involvement in the community.”
The Algonac players honored in the Academic All-State selection included Jacob Sweat, Kyle Allen, Trent Treppa, Luke Stephenson, Brandon Spencer, Jordan Epperson, Stephen Rose, Robert Jewell, Jack Jewell, Stephen Goodall, Jagger Geck, Mitchel Thomas and Andrew Robinson.
Sweat also was recognized for an individual Academic All-State award after recording a 4.33 GPA.
“The kids know I communicate directly with teachers,” Barnhart said. “The teachers know I share a common goal. Kids that use their heads on the field will become players for us.”
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