Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl

2014-2015 finals press release

Coach Lea Ann Smith (left to right) and team members Logan Brunet, Omkar Borse, Martin Deutsch, Jason Yin, Matt Bergeron and Lauren Whitehouse celebrate after Essex won its third straight Scholars' Bowl state championship March 28 at the University of Vermont. (Photo by Kevin Commo)

Essex High School repeats as Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl champion

BURLINGTON -- Essex High School captured its third straight state high school academic championship on Saturday, March 28, coming from behind in the championship match to win the Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl at the University of Vermont.

Essex overcame an early 115-point deficit to defeat Burlington, 415-370, in the finale of the question-and-answer competition to win the Scholars' Bowl for the fourth time time in the last five years. It was Essex's sixth overall championship, trailing only Hanover's seven titles in the 32-year history of the competition.

Seniors Matt Bergeron, Martin Deutsch, Jason Yin and Logan Brunet, junior Omkar Borse and sophomore Lauren Whitehouse were the competing students for Essex, which earns an all-expenses-paid trip to represent Vermont at the NAQT National Championship Tournament in Chicago on May 30. The team is coached by Lea Ann Smith.

Essex, which entered the day with the top seed, started by cruising past Middlebury, 535-205, in the semifinal round. Essex then fell behind Burlington 150-35 in the championship game before rallying to take a 185-180 lead entering the last of the three rounds of competition. Burlington went back in front by as much as 250-205 in the final round, but Essex responded with six straight correct answers -- four of them from Yin -- and slowly pulled away down the stretch.

Burlington advanced to the title game for the first time since 2001, topping South Burlington 460-230 in the quarterfinals and outlasting Champlain Valley, 505-365, in one of the highest-scoring matches in league history in the semifinals. South Burlington won the Medlar Cup, the tournament's second-tier competition, before it's loss to Burlington.

The Scholars' Bowl is a school year-long competition that features regional tournaments in the fall and playoffs after the new year. Saturday's 13 participants qualified by winning at least three of their five matches on the first day of the playoffs on January 31.

The Vermont Chapter of the National Education Association sponsors the tournament, which has been testing the state's brightest high school students since the 1983-84 school year. To find out more about our organization, visit our website at

All of Saturday's state finals scores

Medlar Cup quarterfinals
BFA-Fairfax 300, Mt. Abraham 245
Rice 380, Montpelier 250
South Burlington 460, Mount St. Joseph 100
Mt. Mansfield 315, North Country 255

Medlar Cup semifinals
South Burlington 350, Mt. Mansfield 285
Rice 400, BFA-Fairfax 145

Medlar Cup final
South Burlington 365, Rice 340

Overall quarterfinals
Middlebury 430, Hanover 245
Burlington 460, South Burlington 230
Champlain Valley 345, Rice 265

Overall semifinals
Essex 535, Middlebury 205
Burlington 505, Champlain Valley 365

State championship
Essex 415, Burlington 370

Back to Vermont-NEA Scholars Bowl 2014-15 results
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