Members of the 2017 District Champion ACHS Academic Team are, from left: Brandon Roberts, Maddie Harmon, Brandon Harp, Elizabeth Rexroat, Dylan Pendleton, Ty Cheatham, Chris Stuchell, Arabella Caldwell, Trevor Smith, Jaiden Taylor, Samuel Willis, Alex Godsey, Keaton Coomer, and Ben Hancock. Not pictured: Christina White, Lejano Zavalija, and Wes Stone.
During the Adair County High School Academic Team’s string of consecutive district titles, three different men have served as U.S. president. When the run started, the iPhone had yet to be invented and no one had ever heard of an “app.” The continued dominance entered its second decade last weekend when the squad captured its 11th straight Governor’s Cup District crown at Russell County High School.
“It’s the students buying in that got them this streak,” says head coach Brett Reliford. “We don’t take anything for granted, that’s for sure. The students buy in, trust the program and how it’s put together, and that’s why they’ve been successful.”
Adair County beat out its three competitors – Casey County, Green County, and Russell County high schools – to continue a streak that started before the youngest team members were even in elementary school. All individual medalists qualify for Region, along with the Quick Recall and Future Problem Solving (FPS) team. Quick Recall swept every round of competition Saturday, and FPS earned unanimous first place marks from judges. FPS members are Ben Hancock, Brandon Harp, Lejano Zavilija, and Arabella Caldwell.
Individually, Brandon Harp (math), Ben Hancock (science), Maddie Harmon (language arts and arts & humanities), and Dylan Pendleton (social studies) all earned first place finishes. Other individuals with impressive finishes included: Keaton Coomer (second place in math), Jaiden Taylor (second place in science), Samuel Willis (fifth place in science and second place in language arts), Chris Stuchell (fourth place in language arts and arts & humanities), Trevor Smith (second place in arts & humanities and fifth place in social studies), Wes Stone (third place in composition), and Christina White (fourth place in composition).
Regional competition is set for Feb. 13-18 at South Warren High School in Bowling Green, Ky. The team has ramped up its already rigorous practice schedule in preparation. “These are the hardest three weeks of the year for them,” Reliford says. “We do that not for a number or a ranking but so we can do the very best we’re capable of doing – that’s the accomplishment. You don’t want to look back and say, ‘I could’ve done more.’”