Jun. 27—The Gilmour softball team had a pretty good year, and not just between the white lines.
Coach Tony Bondra's team was recently announced as an Academic All-Ohio team by the Ohio High School Softball Coaches Association. Gilmour's 3.881 varsity grade-point average (on a non-weighted scale) ranked third in the state behind Russia (4.0) and Miller City (3.94).
For their efforts, according to the OHSSCA website, the team will be treated to a pizza party and receive a commemorative plaque recognizing their Academic All-Ohio status.
"We're very proud," Bondra said. "We preach three things to our kids — one is being a great daughter, two is being a great student and three is being a great teammate.
"We take pride in our academics because you and I both know that eventually sports are going to end. But they'll take their academics with them for a lifetime."
Of the 24 players in the Gilmour program, 20 of them have a 3.5 or better GPA. Five have a 4.0 or greater on a college-prep weighted scale.
Recently graduated senior Sammi Fedeli boasts one of the team's highest GPAs, more than 4.2 on a weighted scale.
"We take a lot of pride in academics," the Highland Heights resident said. "Our coaches always stress that we are 'student-athletes' and the word student comes first. Our coaches make academics a priority."
Which means that if homework needs to be done, practice time might get pushed back a few minutes, she said. Fedeli also commended the Gilmour teachers for not only challenging the student-athletes and helping them achieve success in the classroom.
"Academics at Gilmour aren't always easy," Fedeli said. "It's pretty challenging. Being Academic All-Ohio makes us proud of ourselves because we worked so hard of this. Most of our team plays other sports, club sports or are in extra-curricular activities. Having this (academic) recognition in addition to our successful season, we're pretty proud of that."
Gilmour advanced to a Division III district championship game this past spring before falling to top-seeded South Range.