Boonsboro wins Academic Team Championship

March 28, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

by Ric Dugan / staff photographer

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Boonsboro winsBoonsboro wins Academic Team Championship

Boonsboro High School won Saturday's Academic Team Championship at Hagerstown Junior College's Kepler Theater with the help of some veteran members and quick buzzer beaters.

The three-member team frequently hit the buzzer before the master of ceremonies, Bob Smiles, could finish the questions.

The strategy only backfired on them a handful of times in the finals, giving them a decided advantage that led to an overwhelming victory.

Team members Will Keller, Tyler Newman and Alton Temple said they practiced on their own buzzer system as well as gained experience competing in other academic contests.


The team's second appearance this school year on the television program "It's Academic" will air Saturday at 11 a.m. on Channel 13 as the students compete in a playoff round. The playoff round has already been taped, but the community will have to tune in for the results.

The three 17-year-old seniors also competed in academic contests with dozens of other schools at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County and Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Rockville, Md.

"It's nice to go out with a win," Newman said.

Keller and Newman were on Boonsboro's team last year, which scored the most points for a team that didn't make it to the final round of three teams.

Newman called the win retribution for last year's loss to Williamsport High School.

Williamsport won the first two academic competitions, which were started in 1996 by the Williamsport High School Academic Boosters to promote academic competition among the county's high schools. The boosters organized the event again this year.

Boonsboro's first place team got all 10 answers correct in the first round of the finals, the only team to do so in the entire competition. The sweep earned the team 20 bonus points on their way to scoring 230 points in the finals.

The team's win earned Boonsboro High School a $1,200 scholarship from contest sponsor Hagerstown Trust Co.

South Hagerstown and Clear Spring high schools tied for second place with each scoring 60 points in the finals. South and Clear Spring were each awarded $900 scholarships from Hagerstown Trust.

South Hagerstown team members were junior Craig Griffith, 15, and seniors Jason Smith, 18, and Cathy Peck, 18.

Clear Spring team members were seniors Brian Stottlemyer, 17, Sherry Riggleman, 17, and Derek Belz, 18.

The three teams made it to the finals by winning previous rounds on Saturday in which three teams competed per round. Each round consisted of three parts, of which the last two called for teams to hit a buzzer first so they had the opportunity to answer the question. During the last two parts of each round teams were penalized points when they guessed incorrectly or didn't answer in the time allotted.

With three teams needed for each round and only eight public high schools in Washington County, Boonsboro won the draw this year to provide two teams.

Boonsboro's second team scored the most points for a team that didn't make it to the finals. In doing so, the team earned the school a $500 scholarship to Hagerstown Junior College.

Team members were freshman Ben Keller, 14, and seniors Matthew Gagliardi, 18, and Jami Young, 18.

The advisors for the two Boonsboro teams were English teacher Steve Lemonakis and physics teacher Ralph von Philp.

Competition volunteers besides Smiles were Pam Bloom, Debbie Carrier, Peggy Martin, Barbara O'Brien and Nina Wells.

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