MCHS Academic Bowl team takes second in state
By Jessica Armistead
The Morgan County High School Academic Bowl made its way into history by finishing second place in the State Championships Saturday January 24. Academic Bowl is a scholastic competition for high school students sponsored regionally by the Northeast Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency.
This year's academic dream team, comprised of team members Eric Johnson, Grant Phelps, Miriam Cruz Salas, Seth Porter, Patrick Vernon, Kyle O'Connell and Damien Monday, traveled to their meet in Cumming motivated by Monster Energy drinks and the hope of winning the state title for Morgan County. "The power of positive thinking and Monster enabled us to win," stated Porter.
Throughout the year the team has been traveling all over Georgia competing with various schools in order to earn a spot in State. Taking third place in the Northeast Georgia Regional Tournament cemented Morgan County's attendance in the finals.
All teams competed in three round-robin matches. Sixteen teams with the best records and point totals were selected to move forward to the next bracket. MCHS barely survived in the 3-match morning portion and emerged as the 15 seed of 16 teams. Along with three other teams MCHS moved on to the afternoon elimination rounds.
In the second round, MCHS eliminated 4A South Paulding, whom they lost to in an earlier competition. After this defeat, MCHS was announced as the "Cinderella team" of the tournament to cheers, but faced a daunting opponent in the final round. McIntosh High School was the number one seed and a perennial academic heavy weight with a 52-0 record over the past two years. MCHS fought back valiantly after falling behind 110-30 during the Science and Math round.
They gained slightly during the Language Arts, Social Studies, and worksheet rounds. MCHS was unable to overcome the deficit in the final Toss-up/Bonus Round despite their tenacious efforts.
"I think this is the farthest MCHS has ever gone in an Academic Bowl tournament and I am incredibly proud of the talent and doggedness of this team," commented team coach Karl Scott.
"I was amazed how they met the challenge of seven back-to-back matches. That equals what we played the entire season but without the drama or pressure."
Scott continued, "They were hyper awesome and I can't wait to go back again next year."
PHOTO BY B. PARKS
PREPARING FOR STATE: Members of the Morgan County High School Academic Bowl team competed against North Oconee High School recently as part of its victorious march through region competition. The team finished third in the region, qualified for state competition and finished second in state. Pictured are (L to R) Seth Porter, Grant Phelps, Mirian Cruz Salas and Eric Johnson.
Published in the January 29, 2009 edition.