Grades affecting the football team

John C Longton III

Staff Writer

The football team is headed for a big bowl game in Kansas, but not everyone who started with the team is enjoying the run.

Seventeen players were eliminated from the Vikings roster after failing to achieve a 2.0 or higher midterm GPA. Eight of them were impact players that had key roles in the Vikings turnaround season, including the team’s leading tackler.

Even with 17 eliminations, head coach Mike Muehling said, “It is down quite a bit from years past.”

“This has been the first year in a while where every single player on the team at least had a GPA,” he said.

There are several systems put into place to catch a player at an earlier stage and can prevent them from being cut after the midterm grades are released.

“The school has an early warning system and we do academic evaluations and progress reports,” said Muehling. Every player on the football team is required to go to the “study table,” which is designed to help the players with any class that they are taking. The study table is held three nights a week for two hours each session.

“Sometimes guys are [at Hudson Valley] because they don’t perform well academically and it can continue while they are here,” said Muehling. A lot of the players use Hudson Valley to transfer to D1 schools where grades were holding them back from getting into in the first place.  Junior colleges around the nation are being utilized by players that have the skill set for larger programs, but lack the GPA to get in.

When asked if it was hard to maintain a 2.0 GPA while participating with the football team, Tyler Odrick, the team’s center, said, “Yes, but you have to make the time.”

Dwayne Williams, an offensive lineman recommended, “If you’re falling behind, you should get a tutor or go to the LAC.” LAC refers to the Learning Assistance Center, an instructional support service free to all students of Hudson Valley.

The football teams in years past also had the same problems, but weren’t performing as well on the field. When asked about the differences from this team and former teams, Muehling said, “Everything is pretty much the same. Same coaching and same scheme, but the guys are buying in more and doing a lot of the little things.”

On Dec. 6 the Vikings will travel to Kansas and take on Hutchinson, the highest ranked one-loss team in the NJCAA in the Salt City Bowl.


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