For Boonsboro team, success is more than 'academic'

October 14, 1997


Staff Writer

BOONSBORO - Smaller high schools typically have a harder time surviving in the "It's Academic" competition on WJZ-TV in Baltimore, but the team from Boonsboro High School had done its homework.

Since the beginning of the year, Will Keller, Tyler Newman and Alton Temple had been going to school early about three times a week to review old videos of the show and practice answering questions.

"Two weeks before the competition, we were in there every morning," said Keller.

The time paid off when the three seniors defeated Hereford High School from Baltimore County and River Hill High School from Howard County in the quiz show on Sept. 20.


The game show, aired locally every Saturday at 11 a.m., is taped at the WJZ-TV studios on Malden Street in Baltimore, said Rick Cornish, who produces and directs the show.

Boonsboro's match was televised Saturday.

This year 81 teams from Maryland and Virginia will compete in the academic competition, which is stretched over 40 taping sessions at the TV station, Cornish said.

The competition culminates in a "superbowl" game when teams from three districts compete in the championship game on June 27, Cornish said.

Boonsboro is competing in the Baltimore district, and the other two top teams will come from the Washington, D.C., and Virginia district, Cornish said.

Boonsboro's win on Sept. 20 will advance the team to a playoff match on Feb. 14, although it is not known who the other two teams will be, Cornish said.

"I'm just super proud of the boys. The two teams we beat were good," said Steve Lemonakis, who has coached the team for three years. Last year the team lost in its first round of competition.

The team, the only local school to compete in "It's Academic," relies on a variety of talents in its contests. Newman is good with presidential history, Temple brings top math skills, and Keller is well-rounded in a number of subjects, the teammates said.

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