Academic Team Dominates County Championship

The Academic team took both top slots at Tuesday’s meet, with two Falcons qualifying for the state competition.


Christina Pommer

The Saint Stephen’s Academic Team, excited after their Tuesday victory.

Jackson Nealis, Editor in Chief

On Tuesday night, the Academic Team cruised their way to the county championship with the culmination of their season. The Saint Stephen’s Academic Team competes in the Florida Commissioner’s Academic Challenge, a buzzer- based competition that features questions ranging from English, History and Humanities to Economics, Science, Math and Music.

The season consisted of four tournaments hosted by Manatee County Schools, with the final Senior Night county contest held in the Upper School Commons. The points from all four matches are cumulated to determine the county ranking. Carefully planned by area coaches and Saint Stephen’s Academic Team Coaches Mrs. Pommer and Mr. Carlson, the competition saw both Saint Stephen’s Teams take the top slots, with SSES Gold taking second place with 616 points and SSES Green taking the trophy back from Southeast High School in first place with 913 points. The trophy now resides in Mrs. Pommer’s office, waiting to be engraved with Saint Stephen’s as the 2022 County Champions. 

Participants last night included Freshman Pearson Walters, Sophomores Dylan Dam, Hao Li, Cameron Schindler, Juniors Theo Frano, Patrick Van Eyck, Edward Gao and Senior Evan Randle, led by Senior Captain Jackson Nealis and Senior President Elaina Bayard.

After the three rounds of the final match, each individual player’s score was calculated and Jackson Nealis led the county with 635 individual points, followed by Elaina Bayard with 490 points, followed by a student from Southeast High School, a student from Braden River High School and two students from Lakewood Ranch High School. Those top six scorers will represent Manatee County at the State Competition at Walt Disney World this spring. 

First-time states participant, Elaina Bayard, noted that while she’s been excited to “lead the team and see new people at practices and meets,” she’s excited to take her competitive edge to the next level at states and “compete more rigorously and meet more passionate students.”

Congratulations to our Academic Team!