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Hyde Park's View Park Preparatory High football team scores in classroom

January 27, 2011 | 10:54 am

The football team from View Park Preparatory High School in Hyde Park has earned this year’s honor as the top football team -- academically -- among 72 local teams, a sports league official confirmed Thursday.

The 43-member team achieved a grade point average of 3.3 and finished as the California Interscholastic Federation, L.A. City Section, Division 3 champion, said Jo Ann Heller, who oversees the academic award for the Los Angeles area.

Division 3 is for small-school teams such as View Park, which is a public charter school. But the competition is among all varsity teams in the Los Angeles Unified School District and independently run charter schools in that region; 22 teams entered the academic competition this year.

View Park Head Coach Robert Ambers enforced and led mandatory 1 1/2-hour study hall sessions every other day for all football players and “visited the main office weekly to check the grades of players, who also had to submit weekly progress reports,” according to a spokesperson for ICEF Public Schools, the nonprofit that operates View Park.

“Students know that success in the classroom comes first, and I have no doubt that has led to our success on the field,” Ambers said in a statement.

The players and coach are scheduled to be honored Friday at the Los Angeles City Council.

-- Howard Blume