Academic team begins prac

One group of students participates in competitions like no other is the Academic Team, which combines several different teams studying different aspects of a time period: English, math, social studies, science, fine arts and inter-disciplinary. Just now, teams have started meeting throughout the building to prepare for competition under several different coaches.
Junior Joni Brummett has been on the social studies team since middle school.
“I picked Social Studies in sixth grade,” Brummett said. “Last year, social studies was the closest out of all the subjects to going to State.”
Being on the Academic Team provides not just a learning experience but a social one, too.
“I really enjoy being on the team. I really like history, and it’s really fun, us all being here together and going to competitions together,” junior Alyssa Stilley said.
Although competitions do not begin until spring, many teams are meeting before school, after school and during PowerHour to prepare. The teams’ goals are high but certainly within reach. All the teams compete in the same academic meets, and various meets take place across the state with different schools competing in different areas. Although a specific team might win in one area meet, that team’s scores are compared with those across the state to see which teams advance.
“We need to go to State. I think we need to keep our rating title,” Stilley said. “You get scored within the competition you compete in. We were really close to qualifying for State, but since it’s all the schools together, only the top few make it.”
Senior Courtney Hutslar is on both science and social studies academic teams. Although one of her teams was close last year, they did not quite make it when compared to other area competitions. They are making changes to their approach this year.
“Last year, we actually won first in our final competition, and we were pretty close to qualifying for State,” Hutslar said. “We’re definitely starting practice earlier in the year. Last year, we didn’t even start meeting until January, and this year we have more time to study.”
The team is taking advantage of their spare time at school to get the most out of their practices.
“Being able to meet during PowerHour is really helpful so we don’t have to meet in the morning. I am definitely more awake for practice now,” Stilley said.
The science team has yet to begin meeting. However, the team has drawn attention with its three female captains.
“In the past, there haven’t been very many girls at all. I’ve been on the science team since my sophomore year, and the team’s always been male-dominated with male captains. I think it’s really cool to see it go from a male-dominated team to having three girls in charge plus a few other girls as well. I think it’s cool to see how the team’s changed since my sophomore year,” Hutslar said.

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