Trinity sending four Academic Super Bowl teams to state


Three years competing in the Indiana Academic Super Bowl, three years making it to the state finals.

Trinity Lutheran High School in Seymour has established itself as a force to be reckoned with not only in Class 4 but among all four classes.

On Saturday, four of Trinity’s six teams will compete in the 32nd annual state finals at Purdue University’s Loeb Playhouse in West Lafayette.

When the program started at the school in 2016, the interdisciplinary team won the Class 4 title, while the math and science teams finished as runners-up. Then last year, Trinity had five teams competing, and the English squad placed first in its class.

This time, the social studies, fine arts, science and interdisciplinary teams will compete with hopes of adding to the school’s success.

Trinity is among 92 high schools that qualified to participate in the state finals and is one of four to send four teams. Only two schools are sending five teams.

Opening ceremonies are at 10:15 a.m. Saturday, and the first round will begin 15 minutes later. The last round is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.

Each round will have 24 teams based on the number of teams entered statewide by enrollment class: Seven for classes 1 and 3 and five for classes 2 and 4. This year’s theme is World War I.

Trinity’s social studies team qualified for state after correctly answering 22 of 25 questions for first place at the area competition April 17 at Austin High School. That night, 278 high school teams competed in area competitions at 22 sites.

The social studies team’s score was the highest in the state in Class 4 and the second-best score across all four classes.

“Each individual person really knows what they are good at and really knows what they are doing, and getting that timeline down is one of the most important things,” senior and team captain Emily Thompson said.

“Knowing what event comes after what event and being able to place that all in order is something we’re really good at working out as a team while we’re sitting there,” she said. “Just being able to work together is really important.”

Last year at state, the social studies team scored 14 and finished third in Class 4. Thompson said the team would like to score 22 or higher again.

“Graduating this year is going to be kind of sad because Academic Bowl has been a really fun experience the last three years, and being able to continue to work with these people instead of having it cut short after area is going to be really fun,” she said.

Fine arts scored 19 to win area and finished in a three-way tie for first place in Class 4 in the state.

Senior and team captain Abby Moses said she and her teammates having a passion for music and art helps them learn the material.

“We’ve all had prior knowledge, but because we are interested in learning the different artists as well as the different techniques and different styles of work, because we want to know that, it helps us to learn it better because when you’re passionate about something, it helps tremendously,” she said.

Last year’s fine arts team finished second at state with 13 and was only four points away from winning.

“I’m looking forward to winning,” Moses said with a big smile. “Last year, we got second in state, and I’m like, ‘If we make it this year, we are going to win it.'”

The science and interdisciplinary teams both scored 17 at area. Senior Rachel Onken is the captain of both teams.

With science, she said one team member focused on physics, another one studied chemistry and a third one focused on biology.

“I think that worked out pretty well because we were all able to have a specific area that we knew the best,” she said.

“On top of that, at least Abby and myself, we’ve taken the junior and senior classes and some of the tougher classes, and so we have a pretty basic knowledge already of the subjects that we’re being tested on,” Onken said. “Then Noah (Voelker) has been doing a fantastic job of just learning the material even though he hasn’t had those classes yet.”

The interdisciplinary squad brings together team members from all five subjects, including math. Last year’s team placed fourth at state with 11.

Onken can answer science and math questions, Moses can help with the fine arts and science questions and Thompson and Nathaniel Bauman work together on English and social studies questions.

“Most of the subjects up there have somebody they can go to, and I think that’s definitely something that has helped a lot this year because we can say, ‘Hey, do you think this is right?'” Onken said. “If we agree, that’s just perfect.”

This will be Onken’s third and final time competing at state, and she wants to make the most of it. As a bonus, she is going to Purdue in the fall.

“It means a lot more this year to me,” she said.

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For information about the Indiana Academic Super Bowl, visit

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Meet the Trinity Lutheran High School Academic Super Bowl teams that qualified for the state finals

Social studies: Nathaniel Bauman, Erin Enzinger, Gonzalo Jordan de Urries, Henry Hall, Ean Hunt, Noah Mensendiek, Caleb Probst, Josiah Probst, Emily Schultz, Emily Thompson and coaches John Anderson and Rebecca Helmer

Fine arts: Natalia Gegen, Amelia Hessong, Cameo Hildreth, Abby Moses, Emily Schultz, Izzy Whitmore and coaches Lori Moses and Leah Schneider

Science: Gonzalo Jordan de Urries, Abby Moses, Rachel Onken, Noah Voelker and coach Brent Veach

Interdisciplinary: Nathaniel Bauman, Abby Moses, Rachel Onken and Emily Thompson


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