Academic Team shows off smarts, Studying skills in televised events

Hailey Deares, SSC Editor

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Did you know there’s a way your smarts can get you on TV? On Academic Team, there is! Academic Team is run by Mr. Russell Blake, and is described as “a fun thrilling experience” by member Matt Weir. The team dedicates their time to studying a range of questions in all subjects from historic documents to modern TV shows.

The team studies for “It’s Academic!” at WJZ, a local television show where local schools participate in a Jeopardy-like show where the first person to hit their buzzer can answer the question.  There are also other things the team prepares for other events such as the Bel Air High School Quiz Bowl and a meet at the HCC Heat Center.

“Participation in the meets are determined mostly by seniority,” says captain Julia Foster. The captain says she has been “on the team since  [her] freshman year since [her] brother was on it.”

The team had an “It’s Academic!” show on Saturday the thirteenth of October. Participants included seniors Rachel Ewers, Hayley Welzant, and Foster. The show will air November 3rd on WJZ. Welzant said the experience was “not that stressful because everyone on our team is super close.” She shared that the experience came with pressure as family and friends would watch when it aired.

In December of last year, these smart Hawks were also featured on the show. Welzant described it as “extremely nerve wracking,” because the Hawks go to around two competitions a year, while the opposing team had 2 a week and a “regular season” like any other sport.

At a practice, the team uses simulation books and uses buzzers like in the meets.  Blake asks the members a question and the first to hit their buzzer can answer the questions. “Different people on the team have different specialties in what they know,” said Welzant. Whenever someone gets a question right their points are written down and tracked like in the real events.

All members when asked about their time on the team had only positive things to say. Senior member Clayton Allred said, “It’s a fun competitive way of learning cool information that not many people know.”

If you are interested in joining the Academic Team see Foster or Blake. They are actively recruiting underclassmen to train for the upcoming season.   

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