Key West High School’s Academic Challenge Team won the district competition on January 11. This is the third year in a row (minus the years out for Covid-19) that they have left the auditorium victorious. Now, they prepare for the State title, where they will be facing schools from all over Florida.
Alexander Wilson, president of the club, entered the competition confident that his team would win. “Considering we won the scrimmage, I thought we had a good chance of winning, but I was also nervous not to let KWHS down,” Wilson explains. Furtherly, he went on to say that the team is strong in multiple areas, himself being strong in humanities, english, math, and music. “As of right now, we as a team are all getting over the excitement of winning. However, for states, we are excited to get to work,” he went on, “As we near the competition day, we will brush up on the areas we need to learn, such as anatomy and physics. Other than that, just basic studying.”
Another senior, Hunter Rogers-Leon, has been on the team since last year. “I am thankful that we are able to participate in these competitions, and I believe that we can go far with the group of amazing people we have.” Hunter’s strong area is primarily music, the whole team referring to him as “the music guy.” “I believe if we keep up the same team coordination and resilience that we have shown thus far, states will have to prepare for us.”
“The preparation for the competition occurs over the course of years. All the information required to succeed is from our high school curriculum and ap courses,” Gabby Pariag, senior, explains. The team practices twice a week to prepare for the real deal. “We plan on preparing for states the same we did for districts: regular practice and teamwork.”
The team sponsor, Elizabeth Ford, has been leading this team for over six years. For practice, she gives the team questions from past competitions and goes over the ones they got wrong. Not only that, she has members focus on their strong subjects and perfect their skills in each area. “I felt like we had a good chance (going into districts). We’re stronger than we have been in the past in terms of math and science, which is good. We can still increase our speed with which we respond,” Ford explains, “The district competition is one thing, but then the State competition is all the best kids so that it will be much faster.”
Keep up with the team as they will face the best of the best in Orlando at the end of March. Updates will be posted on the Key West High School website here.