Posted on 04/10/2015
WINTER SPORTS TEAMS EXCEL IN CLASSROOM, ON ATHLETIC FIELDMIAA Winter 2015All four of Nashoba Tech’s varsity winter sports teams received the MIAA Team Academic Excellence Award. Front row, from left, are Detective Joseph Eracleo, the school resource officer; Michaela Flanagan, senior, Chelmsford (cheerleading); Mario Carmona, junior, Lowell (hockey); Brandon Williams, junior, Chelmsford (hockey); Mark Higgins, junior, Westford (hockey); Calie Bridges, sophomore, Pepperell (basketball); Kaityn Withrow, senior, Chelmsford (basketball); Tia Clark, sophomore, Shirley (basketball); and Athletic Director David Fusco. Back row, from left, are Kevin Lewis, senior, Ayer (basketball); Ryan Barnoski, sophomore, Billerica (basketball); Scott Berlandi, senior, Townsend (basketball); Patrick Shaw, senior, Pepperell (basketball); Zachary Connell, senior, Ayer (basketball); and Brianna White, senior, Shirley (basketball);

WESTFORD — All four of Nashoba Tech's winter sports teams received the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Team Academic Excellence Award.

        The MIAA awards any team of which all participants maintain grade-point averages of 2.5 or above. Gold-level teams are those whose players achieve GPAs of 3.00 to 4.00, and silver-level teams are those whose members achieve GPAs of 2.50 to 2.99.

        At Nashoba Tech, three of the four varsity teams — girls basketball (combined GPA of 3.7), cheerleading (3.5) and hockey (3.0) achieved gold level, while the boys basketball team (2.7) achieved silver level.

        “To have all four teams eligible for the MIAA’s Team Academic Excellence Award is quite an achievement when you look at the time management these kids have to deal with,” Athletic Director David Fusco said. “Hockey practice starts at 5 a.m., and all of these teams play games at night, and to be that committed to get your work done really shines a positive light on Nashoba Tech.

        “It’s something all the student-athletes should be commended for,” he added. “The teachers and administrators should all be exceptionally proud that we got this done.

        The MIAA instituted the Team Academic Excellence Award as an incentive for all team members to raise their GPAs, thereby positively affecting their team’s average. Each team member, as well as the school, receives recognition for the achievement.

        “We have very good students who take school very seriously,” Fusco said. “They know that if they want to stay on the team, they have to keep their grades up.

        “I seldom get a complaint from a teacher that an athlete is not doing his or her work,” he added. “They’re making a commitment to do the work in the classroom so they can stay on the athletic field. It’s an incentive. There are always going to be the students who are self-motivated and who will do well in school no matter what, but some kids need that extra push.”