The Eastside High School Academic team won the Division 4 state championship after cruising through the competition at the Georgia Academic Team Association (GATA) State Championship Tournament held at Collins Hill High School on March 21.
“What a fantastic accomplishment – No. 1 in the state,” said Samantha Fuhrey, Newton County School Superintendent. “I am very proud of the Eastside Academic Team; their hardwork has paid off. Congratulations to the students who make up the Eastside team, Mr. Eric Adams, team sponsor, and the Eastside High School staff.”
Academic Team is a competition featuring buzzers – similar to Jeopardy -- in which teams of four-five students compete against others answering questions over the entire spectrum of a high school curriculum.
“Unlike Jeopardy, the questions are much greater in depth and lack the trivia aspect with which the game is often mis-associated,” said Eastside Academic Team coach, Eric Adams. “It combines a blend of individual competition and team collaboration.”
According to Adams, just like the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), the GATA groups the high schools of Georgia into six divisions/classifications based on school populations and as a result, crowns six state champions.
Approximately 60 teams competed in the state championship tournament, with Eastside competing in Division 4. Over the course of eight rounds, Eastside emerged with a 7-1 record. Chamblee High School came in second, and Bainbridge High School placed third. Howard (Macon) High School and St Pius rounded out the top five.
The Eastside Academic Team will next compete in the "Super Six" Championship on April 11th at Cedar Shoals High School.
“We will face the other five state champions for an overall championship of all classifications,” Adams said. “There we would face Baconton Charter (div. 6), Westminster (div. 5), River Ridge (div. 3), Chattahoochee (div. 2), and Parkview (div. 1).”
The following month, the Eastside High School Academic Team will compete on the national stage when they travel to Chicago for the National Academic Quiz Tournaments' (NAQT) High School National Championship Tournament. Eastside will be among the 272 best quiz bowl teams in the country competing for the National title. To qualify for the national championship competition, a team must finish in the top 15% of a tournament using NAQT questions (which the GATA State Championship did). Eastside, however, had qualified at several previous tournaments this year and had registered for the national competition over a month ago. This will be Eastside’s second trip to the national championships. They competed in Atlanta in 2012.
"I have never had a team work harder than this one to become better,” said Adams. “The countless hours studying and practicing make this championship most satisfying, and I could not be more proud, as this is as much of a result of shear will and hard work as it is talent."
“A state championship in any endeavor is a tremendous accomplishment resulting from talented, hardworking, and passionate efforts,” said Eastside principal Jeff Cher. “If you have an opportunity to meet these students and their teacher, you will immediately observe a special group of people who are dedicated to continual growth and excellence. We are so proud of our team and their coach, Eric Adams, for winning another Academic State Championship!”