Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
Cass Tech High’s senior volleyball standout Bridgette Dooley and Crockett High’s sophomore defensive end Leon Johnson are trying to help extend their respective seasons by taking care of business in the state playoffs.
After recent stellar performances led their teams to victory, both of them are confident, proud and worthy to be honored as the Detroit Public School League’s Proud Strong Learners of the Week.
“I’m just happy to represent my school and to represent DPS,” said Dooley, the Technicians’ 5-8 team captain. “The fact that our sports teams have been so successful with Cass Tech sweeping city titles in most everything, I’m very happy to be a part of it, especially with this being my last year.”
As the setter, Dooley made her mark with accuracy, speed and perseverance last week in leading Cass Tech to a five-set marathon victory against defending champion Renaissance High for the PSL girls’ volleyball title. As the captain, she wouldn’t let her team let down.
“It was so intense,” Dooley said of the match, that was attended by a packed crowd at Renaissance and lasted until just past 10 p.m. The Technicians came from behind and held on to win 16-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-27, 15-9.
“Everybody thinks we should have been nervous in a game like that, but I actually was excited. As captain, I wanted to show that I’m really dedicated. I know my whole team is dedicated. As long as we had the heart, I knew we were going to win.”
A college-bound student with a 3.8 grade point average, Dooley plans to become a research doctor and said she supports DPS’ plan to strengthen academic standards for athletic eligibility. Beginning next fall, all PSL scholar-athletes must have and maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average in the core courses of math, English, science and social studies to be eligible to compete.
“It’s not going to be a problem because strong athletes are also strong students,” Dooley said. “If anything, this will help us to better our education.”
When it comes to hitting the books and hitting quarterbacks, Johnson, who has a 2.8 GPA, also has his priorities in order. “School comes first before football,” said the Rockets’ 5-11, 205-pound lineman. “You’ve got to handle your business in the classroom, and then do what you’ve got to do on the field.”
Johnson ”did what he had to do” last Friday in recording four quarterback sacks and six tackles for negative yardage in Crockett’s 21-6 victory against Detroit Old Redford in an MHSAA pre-district Division 4 game.
“I was coming off the ball quick(ly), that was the key,” Johnson said. “But that wasn’t my best game. My best game will be Friday (when the Rockets play Detroit Country Day). We’re going all the way. That’s the way I feel.”
Asked if he’s surprised the Rockets are 9-1, Johnson answered “Yes, because we should be 10-0.” He’s still trying to get over Crockett’s lone loss, a 41-7 shellacking by Cass Tech in the PSL Division A title game.
“Now we’ve got to go out and redeem ourselves by winning the state title,” he said. “It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this point. But we’re determined to get that championship.”