Words: Amanda Ali
On Saturday, Nov. 9, Centennial’s It’s Academic team won their first match on the It’s Academic TV Show at WJZ TV studios. Centennial defeated Seton Keough and Easton by a score of 625 to 320 and 280, respectively. Their score was more than the sum of the scores of the other two teams.
The team was represented by junior, and captain, Ryan Heslin, junior Anant Mishra, and senior Qian Mei. The rest of the team was at the competition showing their support, as well as Centennial’s Drill Team who cheered for the team, and our very own Principal Hafets. “It was the most amazing and emotional experience,” says Hafets.
The match on the It’s Academic TV Show was very overwhelming for everyone participating. Centennial’s team successfully battled each question with barely any time to spare, and conquered the two other teams with determination.
“For both tournaments and for the TV show, we make our teams balanced with experts in different areas to cover all the bases,” says team advisor Dr. Seifter. “Competition and repetition are important components in the training process.”
“From the beginning, Ryan, Qian, and I were pretty confident that we were going to win,” said Mishra. “We would not have this confidence if it were not for our wonderful teachers, dedicated and esteemed coaches, Dr. and Mrs. Seifter, and our numerous club members who push us to work hard and help us prepare.”
The club of about 50 members meets weekly to practice for the TV taping and for weekend tournaments. They aim to practice for speed and knowledge, and they must also study extensively on their own.
This year and the previous year have been their most successful years in Centennial’s history. Last year, they accomplished winning the Baltimore Metro TV Championship and were awarded $7,500 towards scholarship money. Their JV team also came in second in the nation in the National History Bowl. This year, the team came in first place in the Richard Montgomery novice tournament against Thomas Jefferson and Montgomery Blair. This team consisted of sophomore captain Gary Tse, sophomores Aniruddha Rao and Pranav Ganapathy, and freshman Jason Li. The team consisting of the TV players listed above and Gary Tse also came in first place in the Blake tournament, beating 35 other teams.
The next tournament that they will be competing in is at Woodson High School in Alexandria, Virginia as well as at the History Bowl at St. Anselm/s High School in Washington DC over the next two weekends. On Sunday, Dec. 8, their tournament against over 60 teams at Centennial will take place. There are many tournaments after the new year that the team will also be participating in. The next TV taping will be on Mar. 1 at 2 pm.
If the team keeps playing like they did this past weekend, there is no doubt that they will achieve every single competition. Don’t forget to catch the airing of the competition on WJZ Channel 13 on Jan. 11 at 10:00 pm!