Last week, the student-athletes writing in my summer series discussed the importance of balancing their time to prepare for and excel in both the classroom and in competition.

Last week, the student-athletes writing in my summer series discussed the importance of balancing their time to prepare for and excel in both the classroom and in competition.

This week, the seniors-to-be are focusing on the importance of having a good academic record.

Austin Cuervo, St. Charles, golf: "In school, if you study and work hard, good grades will come; you can always count on that. In sports, even if you practice hard and play hard, you cannot always play well or perform well just because of the substantial amount of luck it involves. Studying has always got your back, sports do not."

Chase Delande, Hilliard Davidson, football and wrestling: "Academic success really helps in the long run, especially with colleges who love it when you can make an impact both on and off the field."

Morgan Ransom, Columbus Academy, golf: "My goal was always to play Division I golf at a school with strong academics. Coaches definitely look at your grade-point average and standardized test scores, so be prepared."

Jake Blankenship, Gahanna, pole vault: "Grades are very important because they only help you look better as an athlete and as a successful person."

Faith Washington, Reynoldsburg, track: "I always have felt as though someone with a good academic record shows a great amount of potential for strong leadership. In this world, you are either leading your own life or waiting for someone to do it for you. You don't want that."

Michela Paradiso, Upper Arlington, soccer and basketball: "A strong academic record is important because it allows you to keep your options open for college and beyond. It is also important to remember that sports are just a segment of life and so I strive to be a well-rounded person."

Mary Wells, Westerville Central, bowling: "Colleges look at your whole schooling career, not just one year. You have much better chances being a great student than being a great athlete."

Jimmy Gammill, New Albany, football: "Great academics can open up many doors if you are seeking to play sports at the college level. Even if playing at the next level isn't your dream, good grades and good test scores are essential for applying to colleges."

Napoleon Bell, Hartley, football and wrestling: "With a good academic record comes great discipline. This discipline carries over into sports and daily life."

Next week, the student-athletes consider the importance of having self-confidence when they are competing in their sports.

I'll see you at a game.

Larry Larson is a former athletics director at Grandview High School. He can be heard as "Mr. High School Sports" on WTVN 610 AM