GBN athletes earn better GPAs, SAT scores

Peter Bazianos, Sports Editor

At the request of the athletic directors of both Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South, a data company named UpMetrics conducted a study on the correlation between school sport involvement and academic performance using information from the 2018-2019 school year.

Upon ordering the study, John Catalano, assistant principal for athletics, said he thought that GBN athletes earned better grades last year than students who did not play sports. With the results of the study in front of him, his supposition was confirmed.

“[The increase in GPA is] across the board,” said Catalano. “There’s an increase in female, there’s an increase in male, there’s an increase in freshman, sophomore, junior and senior. So it’s not like it’s one group carrying it.”

Along with using the grades of GBN students, UpMetrics looked at students’ SAT scores. The study found that athletes on GBN teams averaged higher scores than those who did not play a school sport, with two-sport athletes earning the highest average score of 1271 out of 1600. One-sport athletes earned an average score of 1205, three-sport athletes averaged a score of 1247 and students who did not play GBN sports averaged the lowest score: 1203.

Vinay Mullick, managing director of UpMetrics, said in a phone interview that an increase in test scores with athletic involvement was also found in other high schools in the United States that the company has worked with. When asked if any of the results of the GBN study surprised him, Mullick said, “Not at all.”

According to senior Molly Alcorn, who did gymnastics and lacrosse last year, one way being an athlete improves her academic performance is by giving her a valuable mental break between classes and homework.

“When I come home from a practice, I’m in a better mood and it feels good to have gotten a workout in and used all my energy so that I’m more ready to focus,” Alcorn said.

Sophomore Nathan Stolyarov, who did cross-country, swimming and water polo last year, said the guidance of coaches has helped him manage schoolwork and athletics.

According to Mullick, UpMetrics is planning on working with GBN to view the correlation between activity involvement outside of sports and academic performance in the future.

To Catalano, the study adds to the numerous reasons why students should be involved in sports at GBN.

“I hope this is just one more benefit that people get a chance to see,” Catalano said.

GPAs are shown for GBN athletes who played one, two and three sports, as well as for those who did not play sports last year. The statistics were gathered in a study conducted by a data company named UpMetrics. Click to enlarge