Academic team returns for 2nd year

Jimmy Rizzo
Staff Writer

While some students do physical sports, seniors Lacey Etzkorn and Lucy Short and juniors Brianna Hickey, Chris Scott and Evan Eberhard do a mental sport, Academic Team.

Academic team is a MSHAA sponsored sport, Webster Groves has participated in this sport for two years including years 2010-2011.

Practices for the academic team are on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school from 2:35 to 4 p.m.

Competitions are on Saturdays and have questions that go from agriculture to Greek history. The first tournament Webster attended was The Pacific tournament.

The first tournament was Dec. 18, and Webster placed fourth overall.
Scott said, “That tournament was really exciting and it got me pumped to start the season. It was the perfect opportunity to scout out the competition and let us know how well we can do this season.”

“The questions are a complete surprise,” academic team coach Julie Burchett said.

Burchett added, “Our practices aren’t always serious though. We like to have fun and play some games. Actually when you fill out the form for the team one of the questions asks about your sense of humor.”

Etzkorn said, “When I’m answering questions, I generally don’t know 75 percent of the answers, and I just have to make a good guess. In one competition there was a huge math equation I had no idea how to do, and I just decided to guess 32, I was surprisingly right.”

Etzkorn specializes in math and physics and was the team captain last year.
“It requires good reflexes for the buzzer, a recommendation from a teacher and great knowledge of many topics along with a topic the student really specializes in,” said Burchett.

Burchett added, “Our team has been complimented by school sponsors. We try to have fun but work hard. Some schools are extremely serious about this sport though. Some schools even have classes in their schedules for academic team which puts us at a disadvantage being that we only practice twice a week.”
Strategies for the academic team are to have someone who specializes in each core class topic in the competition at all times.

Etzkorn added, “Some difficulties in competition are when the prompter talks really fast. Also some people struggle with being timid while in competition which you can’t do.”

Lindenwood sponsors a History Bowl, which is team, and also sponsors a History Bee that is individual. Webster has attended both events for four years. The History Club went in previous years and the academic team is anticipated to go this year. Both of these events are filmed for local Broadcast.

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