Scholars head to state

Teams made up of intellectual teenagers go head to head in meets that are battles of the wits — these are Academic Team competitions, or bowls, and Duncan High School’s own team is the best in the area.

“We won all three games of area so we’re Area Champions,” senior Abbie Stewart said. Stewart has been on the team for three years.

After beating seven other schools for the title including Shawnee, Ardmore, Altus, Eisenhower, Durant, Lawton MacArthur and Carl Albert, the team was faced with a setback in the middle of their impressive season.

“There were some creative differences between our [former] coach and the administration, so [the coach] decided to step down,” Stewart said.

Sharon Edwards, the former coach, resigned her position at Duncan Public Schools, leaving the station vacant after extending her stay just long enough to attend the area meet.

Gabi Lopez, a freshman Froshmore team member (Froshmore is a branch of the Academic Team that has won two out of four of their bowls this year), expressed the team’s feelings on the loss of their leader.

“It was really hard on everyone,” Lopez said. “We were all used to her.”

Filling the hole, Shep Pamplin stepped up as coach.

“He was previously the coach, and also Mrs.. Mackey has been helping out a lot,” Stewart said.

Despite the obstacle of adjusting to new instructors, the team seems to be faring well.

“It’s been quite a transition,” sophomore Josephine Hriscu said. “But we’re adjusting and making the best of it.”

Despite this, the team meets to practice often.

“We are right now practicing three days a week, trying to get as much practice as we can before our [state] meet,” Stewart said.

As Academic Team functions much like other competitive sports, they have back up and support.

“We’re going to learn and support,” Lopez said of himself and fellow Froshmore members. “We can be switched in, but it is a very unlikely chance.”

Tomorrow, the team will be competing against seven other high school teams in the 5A category including Bishop Kelley, Skiatook, Tahlequah, Collinsville, Bishop McGuinness, Eisenhower and Deer Creek.

The State Academic Bowl Championship will take place at Redlands Community College with the first round starting at 10 a.m.

Awards will be presented at 4 p.m., where, if all goes well, Duncan will receive the title of 5A State Academic Bowl Champions.