TJ Academic Team Closes on Their Most Successful Season Yet


Charlotte Hoffman, Writer

Another FCPS Academic Tournament has come to a close, TJ finishing with their most triumphant season yet. They secured a second place win in the championship game along with the status of the highest scoring team this season and three team members, juniors Elliott Anderson, Ben Parada, and Juniper Trussell, placed in All County Teams. So one begins to wonder: what led to such a successful season?

“Chemistry,” says Parada. Each team member has a certain specialty, some covered religion, some history and geography, and others covered music. “Knowing who knows what,” teammates were able to trust each other to cover their respective topics which, ultimately, made them a vastly-knowledgeable machine.

“New people,” says Anderson and fellow junior teammate Olivia Bindewald. According to them, the addition of new members brought a special dynamic to the team. They were able to, as Parada mentioned, work together as a well-oiled machine while building a bond and maintaining a positive energy throughout the season. “Everyone puts in the work,” says Bindewald.

And the Academic Team welcomed not only new students but also two new coaches, math teacher Mr.Cunningham, and English teacher Ms.Ojeda. Cunningham’s addition to the team, “organized us a bit more,” says Parada. And, according to Anderson, the rapport between all three coaches, Cunningham, Ojeda, and Mr.Atwell contributed to a great team energy. During matches, coaches understood to, “put certain  people up at certain times,” says Parada.

But even though TJ had a near unbeatable season, they scored second in their final match and Liganore won first place. In the final tournament, TJ had advanced to the final match, facing off against Linganore and Walkersville. As they neared the end of the match, the scores remained within points of each other. When the moderator asked for the name of the highest male singing voice, TJ buzzed in and answered tenor and did not receive a point. The match ended with Linganore as the winner.

But, an observer in the audience approached the moderator and clarified that tenor is, in fact, the highest male singing voice. So, the coaches from each team were gathered and they decided that TJ should receive points for answering this question. However, since they felt that the question was worded oddly, they also decided that the moderator should ask one additional question before ending the round. The last piece of trivia was: “According to Mark Twain, this was the first novel written on a typewriter, the most famous scene in the book is when a boy’s friend winds up bribing him for the privilege of doing his chores.” And Anderson buzzed in with the correct answer: “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Because of Anderson’s point, TJ was able to advance and secure the second place title.

Now that the season is over, the Academic Team will begin practicing for next year. For now, they will be learning general trivia. And in the fall, FCPS will distribute the list of special topics and they will begin studying those to prepare for another stellar season.