Academic league shares their secret to success


The varsity Academic League team poses with their medals for winning the Coastal Division.

Mikayla Wood, Staff Writer

As this year’s season of academic league comes to an end, CHS’s team has once again finished the league tournament undefeated.  Through hard work and rigorous studying, they have maintained their title as undefeated league champions for the second year in a row.

For those that don’t know, Academic League is like Jeopardy on a team level. So, what is the secret to their success?

“So, there’s five [people] from each school and it alternates between tossups and bonuses,” senior Jacob Zamojc said.  “You’ll hear a toss-up that’s available to either team and it’s pretty much first-come-first-serve.  The first one to get it right gets it, and if you get it right, then you can get a bonus that’s just for your team where you get a little more time to work it out with your teammates.  In the bonuses you have five similar-themed questions and you work them out as a team.”

This Jeopardy-like game is played on a team level and requires essential skills from each of its members.

“There’s a lot of different skills that are necessary to be successful as a team,” senior Liam Bryant said.  “Number one is communication.  Then, knowledge–just practicing memorizing [facts].  For the playoffs, one of the members of our team is memorizing forty different architecture styles, terms, and buildings themselves to be ready.  The last thing, which is a very important aspect of it, is buzzer speed.  And buzzer speed is how quickly you can react to hearing the question and buzzing.  It’s a lot of reflexes and you have to practice it to get good.”

In order to master these three skills, the teams are coached often.  It is this leadership that has helped mold the team into the undefeated champions they are today.

“Our coach Mr. Spanier is really good at motivating us,” Bryant said.  “He’s an amazing coach following after the likes of Ms. Peacock who passed away.  She was the varsity coach a couple years ago, so Mr. Spanier took over the role for her.  He’s been an amazing coach and knows what to do, how to motivate students, and he really just works with us.”

However, skills that cannot necessarily be taught or coached are also essential aspects of the team.  It is skills like these that have led Academic League to another successful year of competition.

“The students themselves have to be really self-directed to be successful in Academic League” Bryant said.  “You have to want to learn the information and to work with your team members.  And, we have a really good, tight-knit community.”

Overall, the welcoming, friendly experience is one of the most memorable things about Academic League and one of the most important secrets to their success.

“Every person, no matter what they’re doing, is supportive, wonderful, and awesome in this really nerdy, team thing we do together,” Bryant said.

Update: For the first time ever the Freshman Academic League team won first place out of the 28 schools competing in the North County Academic League Championships on April 20.  Also, varsity won the Coastal Division and was the second runner up for the NCALC.