Local Academic Super Bowl teams compete at state contest

By Zach Spicer | The Tribune

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Jackson County was represented in two subject areas at the recent Indiana Academic Super Bowl senior division state competition.

Crothersville High School’s English team answered 17 out of 25 questions correctly and placed fifth in Class 4, and Trinity Lutheran High School’s science team scored 16 and placed sixth in Class 4.

The state contest was May 7 at Purdue University in West Lafayette. This year’s theme for the Indiana Association of School Principals program was “Canada: Our Neighbor to the North.” Other subject area rounds were math, social studies, fine arts and interdisciplinary. The latter brings the five subjects together.

Crothersville coach Linda Myers said her team was in third place for a long time, but then it missed the 19th question and dropped to fourth and missed another question and fell to fifth place.

The Class 4 state winner was North Decatur with 20 based on the tiebreakers. Indiana Academy for Science, Math and Humanities was runner-up and Indianapolis Lutheran was third, both scoring 20. Cowan was next with 19, and Wood Memorial finished behind Crothersville with 16.

Going into state, the qualifying scores from the area competitions were close, too. Indiana Academy for Science, Math and Humanities scored the highest at 23, followed by North Decatur, Crothersville, Indianapolis Lutheran and Cowan all with 22 and Wood Memorial with 21.

Crothersville’s team consisted of seniors Kaylyn Holman and Kiarra Lakins, junior Cole Reed and sophomores Elayna Ord and Destiny Lawrence.

They spent several months reading a novel, a nonfiction book, three short stories and five poems, all written by Canadian authors.

At the area competition April 21 at Austin High School, Crothersville scored 21 out of 25. A discrepancy wound up being found on the 16th question, resulting in the score bumping up to 22.

Two days after the state contest, Myers, Reed and Ord attended the Crothersville Community School Corp. board of education meeting to explain Academic Super Bowl, share how they did at state and show off the plaque they earned.

Myers praised the students for finding the materials on their own and studying them as best as they could.

“Other schools have an individual coach for each one of the disciplines. You don’t have that at Crothersville. You have one coach, and basically the only thing that coach does is the paperwork and drive the bus, so they are basically on their own,” she said. “The reason I’m telling you this is because the 17 out of 25 questions they got right, they did on their own.”

She also noted of the six high schools in Class 4 at state, Crothersville has the smallest enrollment at 188. The others ranged from 225 to 500.

This marked only the second time Crothersville has had an Academic Super Bowl team qualify for state. The other time was 2002 when a fine arts team competed at that level.

“It has been 20 years since we’ve had a team represent. To say I’m proud of them is an understatement,” Myers said.

She then asked the board to approve a picture of the team and its state plaque to be hung in the school lobby.

“It’s a state-level team, second time in the history of Crothersville Junior-Senior High School, and I think they deserve the recognition,” she said. “I’m just super proud of them.”

For Class 4 in the science round at state, Indianapolis Lutheran won with 23, followed by Lafayette Central Catholic and Indiana Academy for Science, Math and Humanities, both with 21, Washington Township with 20, Orleans with 17 and then Trinity.

Since seniors Simeon Bauman and Hannah Kerkhof had prior commitments that day, sophomore Benjamin Neawedde and freshman Bradley Dyer competed for Trinity.

At the area competition in Austin, their score of 20 wound up being just enough for state. Lafayette Central Catholic had the highest score in the state at 22, Indianapolis Lutheran had 21 and Trinity was joined by Washington Township, Indiana Academy for Science, Math and Humanities and Orleans in scoring 20.

Trinity’s science team was coached by Sarah Akey and Jaime Brown.

Trinity has been involved with Academic Super Bowl for five years and won state titles with interdisciplinary in 2016, 2018 and 2019 and English in 2017.