Berkeley Springs High School wins regional Academic Showdown

Teams from Berkeley Springs High School and Spring Mills High School took first and second place honors, respectively, at the second West Virginia Academic Showdown competition hosted by Shepherd University on Saturday, January 22.

These two teams have qualified for the statewide championship in Charleston on March 25.

“The validation is overwhelming,” said Matthew Leasure, team captain from Berkeley Springs High School. “I’m sure it’s going to mean the world to our high school because we don’t have many academic opportunities like this, so I’m sure that we’ll make Morgan County proud at states.”

Berkeley Springs High School’s team. Pictured, from left, are Steven McOnaughey, Ben Rogers, Rebecca Moran, Matthew Leasure (team captain), Rachel Hopkins (teacher, team coach).

“This is our first time competing, and to make it to second place is a great opportunity,” said Spring Mills High School team captain Satchel Crockett. “We look forward to competing in Charleston.”

The Academic Showdown is a new academic competition for West Virginia high school students that brings teams together from across the state for five regional matchups on college campuses.

The initiative represents a partnership among the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History, and West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Competition questions cover literature, math, history, science, geography, fine arts, religion/mythology, social science, philosophy, current events, pop culture and general knowledge.

Twenty-nine teams of four students from grades 9-12 from 19 high schools are participating in this inaugural year.

The first competition was held at Marshall University on January 15 with teams from Tug Valley High School and Ripley High School advancing.

Remaining regional competitions will be held at West Virginia University on January 29, Concord University on February 12, and West Virginia State University on February 19. The first and second place teams from each competition will face off at the West Virginia Culture Center on March 25 during the Academic Showdown championship, which will be live streamed by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

The West Virginia Academic Showdown utilizes official National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) questions for all regional and championship matches.