ACHS’ region champion Future Problem Solving (FPS) team members are, from left: Lejano Zavalija, Brandon Harp, Ben Hancock, and Arabella Caldwell.
The Adair County High School Academic Team competed at regionals last weekend at South Warren High School in Bowling Green, Ky. and finished with an impressive showing. The team took home the championship in Future Problem Solving (FPS), qualified several individuals for state with top five finishes, and narrowly lost the outright team victory to Glasgow.
“We were in some pretty high-pressure situations,” says head coach Brett Reliford. “We’re top-three in one of the most competitive regions in the state, so that’s nothing to be ashamed of. We had some close calls.”
The FPS team – consisting of senior Brandon Harp, juniors Ben Hancock and Lejano Zavalija, and sophomore Arabella Caldwell – swept all first place scores and will continue its season next month in Louisville against the top teams in the state. “That’s not easy to sweep first like that,” Reliford says. “It’s pretty rare.”
Four team members, all underclassmen, qualified to compete at state as individuals. Maddie Harmon, only a freshman, finished second in language arts. “That may be the highest score we’ve ever had for a freshman,” Reliford says. “It’s an amazing accomplishment for someone that age.”
The other state qualifiers included Hancock, the oldest of the group as a junior, who finished second in science; sophomore Trevor Smith, the third place finisher in social studies; and sophomore Chris Stuchell, who earned a fifth place showing in language arts. “I’m proud of how hard they worked for it,” Reliford says. “We were preparing them like they were seniors, like this was the last chance. They should all be back next year and be even better.”
State competition will be held March 11, 12, and 13 at the Galt House in Louisville.