MARBLE FALLS — When Todd Dodge became the head football coach and athletic director at Marble Falls High School, he told his players and the community the Mustangs would be better on the field and in the classroom.
So when he announced that only four players out of 155 in grades 9-12 missed part of the season because of academics during the Fall Sports Awards Ceremony on Dec. 6, Dodge was the least surprised individual in the room.
Out of 68 varsity Mustangs, 27 of them are on the academic all-district team, which means they had to maintain a 90 or above average in each class during the football season.
"I was very pleased," he said. "As we start to build this program, the No. 1 objective is to make sure we do the best we can."
The coach credited two groups for the result.
"We have great teachers at Marble Falls High School, for one thing," he said. "That’s what I attribute that to. It’s teachers reaching out and making sure students have every opportunity to be successful. Our teachers work diligently. It shows we have great teachers and staff. I think it’s a tribute to them."
Coaches have told athletes there are some things they can control, and their grades are one of them, he said, adding players are reminded to strive for better marks by not being satisfied with just passing a class.
"Take ownership of your transcripts," he said. "The potential is there."
Dodge said players saw their hard work in the classroom rewarded with academic all-district and hopes they can see hard work on the field also will be rewarded.
"It’s in our athletes to succeed on the fleld just as it’s in our athletes to succeed in the classroom," he said. "We’ll set the bar at a certain level to get there. It’s the same."