Titans’ Student-Athletes Ace Semester One with Cumulative Median Mark of 84%

by Jim Stewart

During the off-season, Director of Baseball Operations Lawrence Vera, Education Compliance Officer Jim Stewart, College Placement Coordinator Denis Bailey, and respective Titans Head Coaches met with all Titans players via Zoom conferences to set academic goals for semester one and review post-secondary school options.  They implored each Titan to excel in the classroom in order to improve their GPA and enhance their academic profile for US College and Canadian University scouts, coaches, and registrars. 

 It appears the clear and consistent tone during the individual hour-long Zoom conferences—conducted with Titans players and parents during November, December, and January-- paid off in a significant statistical manner.  First semester final report cards were collected via the Google Classroom and good news abounds regarding our student-athletes’ collective academic performance.  The median for all marks collected was a sterling 84%.  Overall average for our seventy-six players was 82.84%.  Nine Titans had first semester averages over 90%.  

Titans’ players were told bluntly to make the Honor Roll or Principal’s List as a concrete goal in order to add academic money to their university scholarship opportunities.  Over the semester, Titans players submitted writing assignments from an array of subjects to Education Compliance Officer Jim Stewart and 18U Assistant Coach Alex Crocco—a retired teacher and a current teacher, respectively.  The regular submission of these English, History, Business, Science, Geography, Law, and Religion performance tasks showed our players’ capacity to organize themselves and work towards a deadline rather than rushing work at the last minute.

“I was impressed by our players’ diligence over the course of semester one with dozens of Titans emailing their major projects to me three days before they were due so I could give them timely feedback and help them improve their final products.  Players took the critiques very seriously and so many of our players improved their mid-term marks.  One of our players-- who was really struggling-- improved his marks by over 20% in two of his four subjects. Not only do our players work hard on the field, but they are also becoming more conscientious in the classroom,” said Stewart, a retired Department Head of English with the YCDSB for 33 years and an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Education-University of Toronto for 12 years. “It was great to see our players’ improvement in communication over the course of a semester and I look forward to guiding our 76 student-athletes to excellent results during semester two.”

Director of Baseball Operations Lawrence Vera was very pleased with the Titans’ collective performance in the classroom:  “It doesn't matter if our players are going NCAA, NJCAA, NAIA, OCAA, or OUA-- they will always be Student-Athletes with Student coming first. We strive as an organization to support these young men during their academic careers and we are extremely proud of the work they put in this first semester in a very unusual time we are living in.”

When Coaches Vera, Stewart, and Bailey met with each of the Titans, they were asked to seize the day and improve their GPA—despite the challenges of the Pandemic and its impact on traditional classroom learning.  Their collective active response to these challenges has paid off handsomely with an excellent set of first semester final marks.  Keep up the great work, Titans, in the classroom and on the field.