Theresa Attalla
Ohio.com correspondent


The Stow-Munroe Falls High School varsity girls basketball team is scoring points beyond the basketball court.



The varsity team was recently recognized by the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association for having the best cumulative grade point average across the state of Ohio for the 2012-2013 school year.



“Being recognized validates the things we teach to the girls when it comes to athletics such as priorities and commitment,” coach Bob Podges said. “Academics is the biggest commitment and priority and we put basketball behind that.”



The girls were given certificates of this accomplishment at the May 20 school board meeting. They achieved a cumulative 3.957 GPA with more than eight students obtaining a GPA over 4.0. Podges said throughout the year they monitor the students’ grades and make sure nobody falls behind.



Time management is essential, he said, as the students head to college.



“If we know we’re going to have a late practice we try to tell the kids to get their homework done in advance,” he said. “We also try to be flexible. If they are having a hard time with a class and need to see the teacher, we say ‘go ahead and come back to practice when you’re ready.’”



The girls had a 15-8 record this year and, for a “young team,” played a challenging schedule, Podges said, while also being involved with various extracurricular. Abbie Lawson, a senior on the team has four letters in track, four letters in soccer and three letters in basketball, all while maintaining a range of a 4.3 GPA. Podges said she plans to attend Kent State University and play on the soccer team.



The students also multitask with service activities. Many of the players will be involved in a Relay for Life race this weekend, and during the holiday season, they went to a senior citizen home and made decorations.



“Off the court we want to maintain the same type of academic achievement, and we want the girls to continue to be leaders in the school and community,” Podges said.