Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl

2002 Panasonic Academic Challenge

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A series of strong opponents kept Essex High School from reaching the playoffs at the Panasonic Academic Challenge but couldn't prevent team Vermont from making a strong showing in the national competition at Disney's Contemporary Resort and Conference Center held June 22-25.

The Vermont state champions posted a pair of high scores and were in contention in both of their games, but the accurate play of the opposition made the difference and left the Vermont side out of the playoffs.

In the opening round, Essex drew tough opponents in Ohio and the defending champions from the District of Columbia as well as the team from Idaho. Vermont managed to stay within striking distance for most of the match and answered more questions correctly (seven) in the 15-point round than all its competitors combined, but five wrong answers in the final round proved costly and Essex ended up in third place. The final score was: Ohio 259, District of Columbia 255, Vermont 200, Idaho 132.

That left the Hornets needing to win its second game against opponents from Georgia, Tennessee and New Jersey in order to make the playoffs. The team was in contention going into the final round, but a strong showing by the Georgia All-Stars proved too much for the Vermont team. The final score was Georgia 317, Vermont 190, Tennessee 167, New Jersey 80 and Essex was eliminated.

The Essex team -- consisting of seniors Andrew Bickford, Peter Ebbers and Jimmy Vanzo, junior John Son, sophomore Jack McClintock and freshman Kyle Bokash and coach by Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl president David Rome -- finished in 19th place in the 33-team field. The Maryland All-Stars won the tournament.

Team Vermont's Results
(33 teams from 31 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands competed;
Essex High School represented Vermont)

First round
Copley (OH) 259, District of Columbia All-Stars 255, VERMONT 200, Blackfoot (ID) 132

Second round
Georgia All-Stars 317, VERMONT 190, Ezell-Harding Christian (TN) 167, Team New Jersey 80

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Copyright 2002, Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl