​“Fast on the Buzzer”
Jon Smith

Academic Challenge Eyes New Season


Red and Blue Staff Writer

The Academic Challenge team has continued to improve every year and has high hopes for this season, which runs from January through March. The team finished last season 4th place in the league, with a record of 4 and 4.

Team members include freshmen DeSean Hollins, Emily Kungle, Michael Burse, Ryan McKnight and Tommy Gress; sophomores Allie Cox, Anna Zumbar and Madison Serrano; juniors Brendan McGeehen, Howard Frazier and Phoebe Jackson, and seniors Tony Antonasanti, Jack Madison, Lillian Boehm, Jordan Stutler, Jacob Shields and Lori Simmons.

Along with meets and tournaments with other local schools, the team will participate in a meet at the University of Mount Union. Members Jack Madison, Howard Frazier, and Brendan McGeehen competed at the WEWS Academic Challenge meet with alternates Jacob Shields, Allie Cox, and Anna Zumbar. The show will air March 25.

Alliance High has participated in the Academic Challenge program for many years. Mr. Shaun Fontaine, the band director, coaches the AHS team. Fontaine participated on his own high school’s team for two years. This will be his seventh season coaching the Alliance High team.

Students are asked a wide variety of difficult questions. Team members continue to learn many new things at meets and practices.

“I like that it includes all grade levels and the questions are diverse” said freshman Emily Kungle.

Senior Jack Madison said he enjoys Academic Challenge because “we have interesting discussions and a majority of my friends are involved.”

Academic Challenge consists of three rounds. The first is a team round where each team is given questions in a specific category. The other team has the opportunity to steal and earn the point if the team’s answer is incorrect.

The second round is called the Alphabet Round. Both teams are given the same written list of questions and all of the answers begin with the same letter. After the time is up, the judges count each team’s correct answers and award points.

The final round is the lightning round. Questions are asked and either team can ring in to answer. The questions span many different topics. The team with the most points at the end of the three rounds wins the meet.

Anna Zumbar, a sophomore, said the lightning round is her favorite.

“You have to answer quickly and be fast on the buzzer,” she said. “You also have to be able to change topics after each question.”

The complexity and variety of questions makes the lightning round difficult. “It has improved my ability to pay attention,” Zumbar added.

Freshmen team members are adjusting to the differences in the high school meets. Academic Challenge meets in middle school consist of five rounds, all resembling the lightning round and spanning various topics.

Freshman Tommy Gress said: “I did Academic Challenge in middle school and it was fun. I liked learning new things.”

The Alliance High School Academic Challenge team has done very well in past seasons and is looking forward to another great one this year. Come support the Alliance High School Academic Challenge team on February 13 in the Instrumental Music room at 3 p.m for their tournament!

Members of the Alliance High Academic Challenge team are (from left) Madison Serrano, Ryan McKnight, Allie Cox, Rhiannon Phillips, Anna Zumbar, Emily Kungle, DeSean Hollins, Jacob Shields, Jack Madison, Lillian Boehm, Howard Frazier, Lori Simmons, Brendan McGeehen and Tommy Gress