The more scholarships, the better

The more scholarships a high school athletics team gets, the better. This statement sounds obvious, because it is, but there are several local programs taking extra steps to get more scholarships for their athletes.

This is a good thing because DeKalb has a lot of talent every year, but that talent isn’t always taken advantage of by college recruiters.

Take Georgia State University, for example. Not only is the school close to DeKalb, but the college baseball team’s stadium is located right next to where DeKalb high school football powerhouse Cedar Grove plays its games. However, Georgia State—with more than 80 athletes on its roster—only has one DeKalb County School District alum on its roster, and there have been stretches of time when the program hasn’t had any DeKalb alums.

I expect that to change with the new coaching staff not only consisting of former University of Georgia recruiting whiz Dell McGee but also former Cedar Grove head coach John Adams.

While the blame ultimately falls on the shoulders of the college coaches and college recruiters, schools such as Chamblee High School are kickstarting new initiatives to ensure its athletes aren’t overlooked. For Chamblee, that consisted of creating a college recruiting coordinator position and hiring NFL legend Jamal Lewis to fill the post.

Lewis was a nine-year NFL veteran, a Super Bowl champion, an NFL Offensive Player of the Year, a first team All Pro selection, a Pro Bowl selection, an NFL rushing yards champion and more during his time playing for the Ravens and Browns.

Not every team has the resources to make such moves. Not every team is in a position to think about creating a role like Chamblee did, but finding parents and coaches who can get involved and share stats and highlights on social media can go a long way.

There’s too much talent in DeKalb, a county that regularly sets records and high placements when it comes to draft picks and professional careers, and the county’s athletes deserve more scholarships. Any program taking extra steps to make that happen, no matter the sport, gets a round of applause from me.

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