With school-related activities taking up a little more of the evening time these past several days, my posts have been reduced somewhat.
One of those activities was the concluding competition in the annual Academic Challenge. The final meet, focusing on general trivia, was held earlier tonight at College Heights Christian School. Earlier competitions in science, communication arts, mathematics and history were held at Carl Junction, Lamar, Diamond, and Neosho. This is only the second year we have been involved and we usually finish somewhere in the middle of the pack in the competitions.
Tonight was a breakthrough night for the South students, who have worked hard all year. Our two teams played nine matches each in the round-robin competition, with the top team winning six, defeating two teams from Carl Junction, and one apiece from Diamond, Lamar, Monett, and our own number two team. We lost to College Heights, and the number one teams from Lamar, coached by Susan Ray, and Diamond, coached by my forming teaching colleague Nancy Berry.
We missed by one game of joining the playoff between the top two teams, Carl Junction One and Lamar One. Carl Junction One, which we defeated earlier, won the championship, and was also the winner for the entire year.
Our number two team compiled a 3-6 record, beating the number two teams from Carl Junction, Diamond, and Monett.
South's teams consisted of Savanah Sweeton, Lainie Nicolas, Kylie Hurrell, Kane McCaslin, Dylan Prauser, Alex Kangethe, Mollie Sanders, Ken Zhang, and two who were unable to be there tonight, Sarah Kessler (who was representing South at the Regional Science Fair at Missouri Southern State University) and Marina Dudley.
While I realize this is not the usual fare for The Turner Report, these kids have worked hard throughout the year and deserve a little publicity. While I covered a lot of sports during my days at The Carthage Press and the Lamar Democrat, one thing I always made sure of is that we also devoted considerable space to academic endeavors, including the most comprehensive coverage of these scholastic competitions that had ever been offered up to that time and since. With the removal of the Joplin Daily from the local scene, it could be a long while before academic endeavors ever again receive anywhere near the emphasis sports receive on the local scene.