To become ineligible for athletics, a student must fail to meet a few criteria. Because of the modified block schedule at DHS, the morning classes that are one hour and a half are more heaviliy weighted than afternoon classes, which are shorter.
A student can fail an afternoon class or a morning class and remain eligible.
Students also must be on track for graduation. The appropriate number of credits must be obtained before the beginning of each school year.
"It's hard to be ineligible," Alcorn said.
For the most part, though, Rowland said student athletes tend to perform at their optimal level during the season of the sport they play.
"And it's across the board," he added.
Whether that's because their time management skills are in full effect, they know they must maintain satisfactory grades to participate or because their competitive juices are in full swing, "most of our kids do better," Rowland said.
With parents, coaches and sponsors checking in on their status often, that helps keep students on their toes.
"All inquiries keep kids pushing a little bit harder," he added.
More emphasis on academics than 10 years ago
Warner and Alcorn believe teachers and coaches are focusing on academics in student athletes more than they did a decade ago.
Alcorn said if the school stressed academics years ago like it does now, more DHS alumni likely would have made it into college. Some of those college athletes may have made it to the National Football League, Alcorn said.
"Back then they only stressed enough to get by," he added.
Alcorn and Kruz both play basketball and football at DHS. Alcorn already has three full-ride sports scholarships to three colleges. He's not sure where he will go yet.
"I should be happy," Alcorn said. "If my teachers here let us slack off and hand our points to us, when I go to college I will fail. So it's a good thing."
Although he feels requirements are lenient, he feels academics are stressed as a priority.
Credit for success given to counselor
Warner credits much of his academic success and that of his peers to counselor Nellie McKnight. He hopes to attend Eastern Kentucky University and play basketball. He understands that his athletic ability alone will not carry him through college, nor any of his other athlete classmates.
"Most African-Americans play sports and most do want to go to college," Warner said. "Now there are so many scholarships available, there's a lot of interest in that."
Compared to only two years ago, Warner said the focus on academics in student athletes has risen among students, coaches and staff.
"Teachers want us to do well," Warner said. "They tell us we have the potential to do anything we want. They stress on us so much. They know college (professors) will not help us as much."