BRADFORD – Bradford’s high school girls basketball team was recognized by the Ohio National Guard on Tuesday afternoon for having the highest GPA among all girls basketball programs in the state.
All 13 of Bradford’s high school girls basketball players had a 4.0 GPA this year, earning the Railroaders recognition from the Ohio National Guard and Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association for their success as student-athletes.
“I think that this is the coolest award that I’ve ever been able to give,” Sgt. 1st Class Justin Ward said. “To have these girls, they are the epitome of what a student-athlete is.”
Ward and Sgt. Cameron Winning, both from the National Guard Armory in Greenville, visited Bradford on Tuesday afternoon to present the award to the Railroaders in front of the school’s junior high and high school students.
The academic team award was a great reminder for the Bradford girls that it can take time for hard work to be rewarded, Lady Railroader coach Patrick McKee said.
“We talk a lot about with our girls, hard work doesn’t always pay off the next day, that night, and this is exactly a good replication of that how the hard work that we started clear back in October and November pays off now on May 1 today,” he said. “The things that we really want in life that require hard work, it’s not going to happen overnight, but if you just kind of trust in the process it’s going to happen eventually.”
McKee has seen his players work hard on and off the court. The Railroaders hope their dedication soon will start to pay dividends on the scoreboard.
“We knew this past summer when we got them together they kind of clicked right away,” McKee said. “Obviously we didn’t get the wins we wanted this year, but you know I think every team will admit that we fight. We fight for four quarters, and I have a feeling it has a lot to do with the hard work that they put into their academics. I’m a big coach that believes in your work in the classroom carries over to the court, and I think that kind of helps us out there.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.