CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — From under the Friday night lights to the classroom lights, one football team came together this season and shook the Coastal Bend -- with their grades.
"We cater to the student before the athlete," Miller High School Head Football Coach Justen Evans said.
He wants the Coastal Bend to see his boys how he sees them.
"We want people to understand that we're so much more than just athletes," Evans said. "Our kids are, you know, high scholars."
The Buccaneers football team has an overall GPA of 3.4, and they bring the same work ethic from the classroom to the football field.
"It was kind of like a great accomplishment for us because we had no worries no more," Defensive Tackle Manuel Lozano said.
Lozano said it is not enough to just take care of business on the field -- you have to do so in the classroom as well. That way, he said, he never has to worry about fellow teammates sitting out because of poor grades.
"It takes a lot off of my shoulders because I'm one of the leaders on the team," Lozano said.
"Just as hard as I work on the field," Cornerback Oscar Reyes said. "Just not really complaining much. Just do what I'm supposed to do."
Something else the two players have in common -- they grew up with older siblings who excelled in the classroom. They have always looked up to them.
For Reyes it was his sister, and for Lozano it was his older brother.
"You know, I kind of want to be just like her in the classroom, having the good grades," Reyes said.
"He was one of the top in his class and he was on the Dean's List in college, and he was good in football and played college football," Lozano said. "I've got to live up to his hype."
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