STEVE HANLON: There is an 'A' in Munster, plenty of 'em

2014-05-09T17:00:00Z 2014-05-09T23:40:06Z STEVE HANLON: There is an 'A' in Munster, plenty of 'emSteve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
May 09, 2014 5:00 pm  • 

You hear about star athletes flunking off teams time and time again. Or you hear rumors of a star athlete getting a grade "changed" in order to keep him or her eligible, which is a crime.

I've heard it. You've heard it. Some know such things do occur.

How such things happen is unbelievable. It starts in the home. That is the foundation for every report card's letters on the planet. After that it's effort. If you care and do your best you will succeed.

Munster boys track and field coach John Stamper knows he is blessed. He has four senior Mustangs who are doing an Einstein in track spikes.

Saam Mojtahed runs the 200 and his best time is 23.21. He is second in his class of 380 with a 4.67 GPA.

Eashan Kumar runs in both hurdles. He is the Senior Class President and he is seventh in his class with a GPA of 4.57.

Tommy Bolanowski is a three-time state qualifier. He runs the 1,600 (4:31) and the 800 (2:04). He is 22nd in his class with a 4.32 GPA.

And last but not least, Calvin Sanders runs the 110 high hurdles (15.70) and the 300 intermediate hurdles (42.65). He is the Senior Class Vice President and his GPA is 3.9.

At Tuesday night's Northwest Crossroads Conference meet, take a bow, gentlemen. You and what you've accomplished is what makes high school sports so great.

Hopefully, one day, every prep athlete will follow in their footsteps. Let me set the record straight. You can count on one, maybe two, fingers how many region stars will play pro sports.

But you call can use athletics to prepare you for the real world and set yourself up for a life with many opportunities.

"It comes down to time management," said Kumar, who will study philosophy and pre-med at Indiana. "You have to be disciplined. You have to prioritize in school. You have to trust yourself. You can't be lazy."

Both Bolanowski and Sanders smiled and raised their hand when asked if any of this Fab Four had ever gotten a B in a class. But that happened a long time ago and the two worked hard to never let that happen again.

"I stay up late a lot," Bolanowski said and he doesn't fall asleep staring at an I-Phone. He will attend IU also and study finance. "Athletics will only take you so far."

Sanders will study pre-law at IU next year.

"Athletics helps you with the challenges in the classroom," he said. "You have challanges out here on the track. If you learn to overcome them you can do the same in your studies and your academics are much more important."

Mojtahed will study pre-med and biology at Notre Dame this fall. His future is much brighter than most of the Irish football players. He knows it. Many of them don't.

"I have always tried to be the best student I can be," Mojtahed said. "Doing well in academics leads to being responsible and that helps you in athletics and in life."

These young men should be commended. Keep up the great work, gents. And we need a lot more doing the same kind of things.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at steve.hanlon@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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