The student part of student-athlete can sometimes get overshadowed in amateur athletics, but many North Pinellas sports programs shine just as bright in the classroom as on their respective playing surfaces.
The Florida High School Athletic Association released two lists this month that highlight these academic achievements.
Each year, participating schools submit to the FHSAA team-wide GPAs for each of their sports programs.
The two most recently released lists are for spring sports programs and the overall Academic Team Champions encompassing all sports over the entire school year.
Locally, East Lake High tops the yearlong listing.
Eagles athletic programs, both boys and girls, combined to finish just one cumulative point behind Bradenton Lakewood Ranch among Class 7A schools.
Schools accumulate points throughout the year when their individual sports programs’ GPAs rate in the top 10 of their year-end standings.
East Lake was the only participating North Pinellas school to finish in the top 10 of any of the eight statewide classifications.
Specific to spring sports, though, many Eagles teams were joined by those from Tarpon Springs High.
Seven East Lake spring programs were featured on the FHSAA lists, along with six from Tarpon Springs.
East Lake received a No. 1 ranking in Class 4A boys tennis (3.936 GPA) and second-place rankings in Class 7A baseball (3.373) and Class 4A boys track and field (3.289).
Finishing highest in the rankings for Tarpon Springs was its Class 5A baseball team (ninth place, 3.186) and Class 5A softball team (14th place, 3.219). The Spongers’ Class 2A girls tennis team placed 18th, but finished with the spring semester’s highest GPA (3.513).