The well-used term, "scholar-athlete," is aligned for a purpose. A student's academics should always come before any achievement they make in the athletic arena. This week in my weekly series that features some of next year's top high school senior sports stars, the students focus on the importance of being a good student in the classroom while being involved with athletics.

The well-used term, "scholar-athlete," is aligned for a purpose. A student's academics should always come before any achievement they make in the athletic arena. This week in my weekly series that features some of next year's top high school senior sports stars, the students focus on the importance of being a good student in the classroom while being involved with athletics.

Chris Diaz, Watterson boys tennis: "It is very important to keep your focus on grades as well as sports because it tests your determination and tests how responsible you are."

Niki Flower, Upper Arlington girls tennis: "In order to play any sport, you have to be academically eligible, but more importantly, good grades can open up so many doors for athletes that are looking for colleges."

Abby Barker, Watterson field hockey: "Academics always come first before athletics. For me, I can focus on my sport more when I know I am doing well in school, so I always make sure that my grades are up."

Raven Ferguson, Africentric girls basketball: "The importance of being a good student in the classroom is very significant, because if you are not a good student, then you may not be able to participate in extra-curricular activities."

Joey Uhle, Olentangy Liberty boys track: "As an athlete, you represent your school on the field. You should also be able to represent it off the field."

Hannah Stefanoff, Grandview Heights cross country: "It is extremely important to be putting in the same effort in the classroom as you put into sports. If you work hard in the classroom, usually this continues outside of it. Being able to compete in sports is a privilege and it is important to put in as much effort in academics as we are willing to put into sports."

Kyle Annis, Hilliard Davidson football: "My coaches throughout middle school and high school have always stressed the importance of the phrase 'student-athlete' and the fact that student comes first is for a reason. It is important to do well in the classroom because it will have a large impact on your future."

Ron Tanner, Eastmoor Academy football: "Being a good student in the classroom is the key to an athlete being successful, because an athlete can only go as far as their brain allows them."

Next week the student-athletes talk about how they handle defeat and disappointment.

I'll see you at a game.

Larry Larson is a former athletics director at Grandview High School.