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Posted: December 12, 2013 9:00 p.m.

EHS Academic Team competes in tourney

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Eastside High School Academic Team includes Jasper Narvil, Dillon Diamond, Ben Bohannon, Kaylah Kennedy, Zeke Dunevent and Jillian Jones. The team is coached by Eastside Latin teacher Eric Adams.

Eastside High’s academics will have the spotlight on television Sunday.

The high school’s Academic Team will compete on WSB Channel 2’s "HighQ Tournament" Dec. 15 at 12:30 p.m.

According to information from WSB’s website, in the tournament each week, students answer dozens of questions on a wide range of subjects, including history, math, literature, science and the arts. The competition with the EHS Academic Team was taped on Dec. 5.

Four of EHS’s team members — Jasper Narvil, Dillon Diamond, Ben Bohannon, and Zeke Dunevent, buzzed in answering questions that test their knowledge. Though team members Kaylah Kennedy and Jillian Jones did not compete, they said they were in the audience cheering on their teammates.

The team’s coach, Eastside Latin teacher Eric Adams, said for a decade the EHS Academic Team has been waiting for the chance to show its academic excellence on the "HighQ" show, which has been airing since 1986.

Adams said WSB sends out invitations to school systems within its viewing area asking if they would like to be in a lottery for the show. If a school systems’ name is drawn, the school system can select a high school to participate.

Adams said he and the team were very excited to be selected for the competition this year.

He said when they were in the TV studio and were cheered on, it was as though the audience were watching a a sporting event.

"I’m very proud of them, especially for how they conducted themselves on television. I think they represented themselves well on television and just in general. "I’m proud of them in some of the hard work that’s necessary to be competitive.

"It’s no different than anything else, you’ve got to practice," Adams said. 

When asked how it was competing on television, academic team captain Jasper Narvil said, "It was good. We did our best. I thought it was a team effort. We all contributed relatively equally. I had a good time. It was well worth it."

Though competing in the "HighQ" tournament is an accomplishment, Adams said the academic team has really achieved academic excellence over the past 10 years or so.

"We really reached our apex probably two years ago in the years of 2011 and 2012, when we were actually able to win the state championship for our classification, which was AAA at the time," Adams said. "Due to some graduations of very good players, we have been less active over the last year or so, but we’ve been very fortunate this year for the first time to be drawn in the WSB lottery to appear on Channel 2."

EHS Principal Jeff Cher echoed Adams in saying he was proud of the team and
the chance to cheer for academics.

"Mr. Adams has been working with our students for years. And although he’s bragging on them, he doesn’t give them enough credit for what they have accomplished as students in the years past, and even this year, but also himself in how he has really created an environment where we have celebrated academic progress, academic achievement and academic aptitude," Cher said.  

"It’s something that’s neat, from my position, to be able to watch and I cheer them on 100 percent."

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