Oak Mountain Academy’s Magnificent 7 Excel on the Court and in the Classroom
The Oak Mountain Academy girls’ basketball team finished one of their best seasons on record. The Lady Warriors ended the season with a 22-3 overall record, as well as a region championship, and an Elite 8 finish in GISA state competition.
A group of ladies from this year’s team were critical to this season’s success. The Magnificent Seven is a nickname given to a group of seven juniors and seniors who helped propel the team into the region and state championship competition. Their success is noted both on the court and in the classroom.
Head Coach Terrell Barkley said he is extremely proud of seniors Josie Francis and Lilly Parmer, as well as juniors Maggie Harden, Bess Murrah, Christian Pollard, S.K. Pike, and Aubrey Wynn. The Magnificent Seven not only led the team in playing time but also set the tone in the locker room by inspiring the younger players with their hard work.
Francis, Parmer, Harden, and Pollard were named to the All-Region team while Pollard and Parmer were honored as All-State selections. Parmer, who plans to attend the University of Georgia and study business, describes the team as a cohesive unit.
“It is great to have a team where everyone is so smart and driven,” said Parmer. “We study together before games and practices and push each other in the classroom as much as we do on the court.”
The seven upperclassmen have an average grade point average of 4.25, an average ACT score of 28, with an average SAT score of 1308—exceeding the Georgia average ACT score of 21.4 and the Georgia average SAT score of 1050.
Bess Murrah hopes to attend Georgia Tech to study Civil Engineering. She explained the rigor of being a student athlete as both demanding and rewarding.
“Sometimes it is challenging to balance both academics and athletics, but I recognize my commitment to self, my parents, teachers, teammates, and coaches to strive for success in both areas,” said Murrah. ”My studies are undoubtedly my first priority, but my athletic activities at Oak Mountain Academy require time management and personal responsibility.”
The girls’ 4.25 GPA is even more extraordinary considering the challenge of taking schedules full of Advanced Placement classes. These are Oak Mountain Academy’s most difficult courses where students can earn college credit by passing an AP exam. The seven juniors and seniors have taken an average of six AP classes each, having passed their AP exams with an average score of 3.7. The national average score on an AP exam was 2.86 in 2017.
S.K. Pike and Maggie Harden believe that the team’s athletic and academic competitiveness make them special.
“Everyone on this team is extremely competitive on and off the court,” said Pike. “We strive to get the highest grades and scores possible to show that we can excel at sports and academics.”
Harden, who aspires to be a veterinarian, echoes Pike’s statements.
“We all push each other to be successful, just one reason why our chemistry is often said to be strong,” said Harden.
Founded in 1962, Oak Mountain Academy now has more than 200 students enrolled in grades PreK 3 through 12th grades. Oak Mountain Academy is an innovative school of academic excellence where students receive a personalized, faith-based, college-preparatory education on a vibrant campus that offers dynamic opportunities, empowering them to become leaders committed to living lives of service and integrity.
For more information, contact Katie Kilgore at 770.834.6651 or [email protected]