Students at West Lauderdale are taking pride in their accomplishments winning first place for the academic team at their school after winning the Harvard on Bigger Invitational, The Clinton Arrow Invitational,and The Coastal Alabama Tour.
“Students become a part of the academic team through tryouts they can start trying out when they’re in in ninth grade, and we have a session at the beginning of every school year where they come in and answer questions: We look at our top performers, they’re only 12 slots on the team so we take our top 12 performers and we sort them into an A team and B team.” Said Shauna Waters West Lauderdale High academic coach.
According to Waters, the way the two teams are split up is based on experience and practice. The A team consist of juniors and seniors, and the B team is for new beginners which are freshman and sophomores, and this requires a lot of preparation.
“We practice normally once a week for a couple of hours, we go and compete at a tournament, we’ve done well recently and every year we have the teachers versus students’ academic team." Said Gabe Broom West Lauderdale High Senior.
The team works a lot in their one-day-a-week preparation class time.
“There’s a question set of 20 questions sometimes we do what’s called speed checks which are rapid fire questions that are normally shorter,and that’s just to kind of get you warmed up and get you thinking right, and then that gives you some good knowledge too.” Said Gabe Broom West Lauderdale High Senior.
That knowledge is used to help students go against other students in the area.
“We compete against locally Lamar and Meridian High, Meridian High has historically been a good team, so as Lamar. We’ve beaten both of them in our most recent tournaments.” Said Gabe Broom West Lauderdale High Senior.
It’s not only teams locally students at West Lauderdale must put up a battle with, but there are some regional teams as well.
“Last year we finished in the state third overall. Number one was Itawamba, who is a very good team and then number two was Tupelo Christian, so those are our probably 2 biggest threats to winning a State Championship.” Said Gabe Broom West Lauderdale High Senior.
Matt Landis says he finds being a teammate very rewarding.
“Participating in the academic team, you just learn a lot of different knowledge, because; usually we divide up the subjects between people.” Said Matt Landis West Lauderdale High senior.