But what most fans don’t know is that the players are excelling in the classroom as well.
Of the 74 players 37 of them maintained a 3.2 GPA, what qualifies as a scholar athlete at North Cobb. The overall team GPA is 3.15 and seven players have better than a 4.0.
While coach Shane Queen might not be able to claim the same credit for the scholarly success as he can the football success, he is equally proud.
“It’s something we are very proud of,” said Queen. “Obviously our kids are excelling in the classroom and on the football field. It’s neat to see them. Particularly during football season it goes to show that when kids are committed to their extra-curricular duty, they make better grades and this is the perfect example of that.”
Kicker A.J. Borduin hopes the team’s high academic standing changes the way people look at the football team.
“Maybe it gives people a different perspective on football players and doesn’t make them seem like they are just athletes,” said Borduin, a senior with a 4.266 GPA.
Junior offensive lineman Ernie McQuade, who maintains a 4.25 GPA, attributes some of the academic to success of the team to the educational opportunities at North Cobb.
“This year I think we have a lot more players that are in the magnet school at North Cobb, which is the magnet school for international studies,” said McQuade. “Also this is the second year that the freshman academy has been implemented and they have set up a lot more tutoring sessions and opportunities for students to go in and get help with whatever they need and hopefully raise their grades.”
Borduin said he has worked together on projects with teammates and it’s common to hear players reminding each other about assignments and due dates.
“We are a lot closer than teams were in the past — more like a family than a team,” said Borduin.
Queen says school work is something that he stresses with his players every day.
“I’m a firm believer, and I think that any coach in our county is, that if you do the right thing in the classroom and work hard in the classroom and develop a work ethic then that carries over to the football field. I think it’s directly related.
“You find a kid that he driven in his school work and his parents have stressed that and they are proud of what they do in the classroom, those kids excel in their extra-curricular activities.”
Borduin, who plans to attend the University of Georgia and major in civil engineering, said it isn’t difficult to balance to school and football, but it does require skill.
“During the football season you have to stay on top of school work, athletics and then any other extra activities that you do,” he said. “When I’m busy I stay on top of things better than if I have a lot of free time.
McQuade, who is a three sport athlete and takes multiple advance placement courses, agrees that time management is key.
“I enjoy challenging myself (in the classroom),” said McQuade. “I feel that translates into me being able to deal with adversity better and being able to work harder. Playing sports actually helps me control my time management better because it keeps me on track.”
Queen said the method worked for him and that he made his best grades in college when his schedule was the most disciplined.
“The kids have bought into that,” said Queen. “It’s all about time management. We talk about it every day. I’m more proud of the 3.15 grade point average than I am of us going to the state semifinals.”
Queen hopes to see the trend continue and think it comes down to something pretty simple.
“If you are going to do something, do it right and be the best you can be at it,” said Queen.