Andrew Berman
Staff Reporter
December 2, 2016
     It was a hard goodbye to the competition last year, but the Atholton It’s Academic team confidently won their first round in the famous quiz competition, giving them TV time, once again. On October 8th, the Atholton It’s Academic team traveled to the WJZ studio in Baltimore to take on Calvert Hall and Walkersville in the intense quiz show.
    Starting in 1961 on NBC4, It’s Academic is going onto its 55th year of airing on TV, the longest running quiz show still running. Home to competitions between all types of schools within Maryland, It’s Academic turns a simple quiz into a dogfight to answer the question correctly and first. It’s Academic is precious to many students wanting to show their miscellaneous question answering skills and school spirit.
    “This year our taping was the first Saturday of October, and as a result we had to get ready very quickly,” said Mr. Douglas, current sponsor and leader of the Atholton It’s Academic team.
    With a usual taping day in the November/December time frame, the team had to prepare at a swift rate, mostly doing “crashcourse” type of practice. While all this is going on, it is also essential to mentally prepare as well. The mental preparation is sometimes even harder than the physical preparation, and for this competition it’s not only worrying about embarrassing yourself or the school in front of the audience, but later that year it will be shown on TV.
    “I will probably be very very happy to watch it and I will be ecstatic to see my team perform well. I will be less excited to see myself because I don’t think I look good on TV,” Mr. Douglas commented on his feelings about the airing of their competition on TV.
    The whole embarrassment in front of a crowd brings up a whole new preparation topic to cover before the event, intimidation, however; the team felt confident in this aspect.
    “Were we intimated?  Of course not!  This is A-Town you’re talking about” said Mr. Sackett, sponsor and leader of the team before Douglas took over, also current assistant principal at Howard High School.
    When everything was against them, there is only one thing that Atholton could have done: win and enjoy doing it.

“We were down 10 and it was the last 10 seconds and we were about to lose, but the very last question was about DNA, it was, who discovered the structure of DNA, and I got it” Ananth said.

     A member of the team, sophomore Yamini Ananth, was the main person responsible for the late success.
     “We were down 10 and it was the last 10 seconds and we were about to lose, but the very last question was about DNA, it was, who discovered the structure of DNA, and I got it” Ananth said.
    It was a close one to the last seconds when Atholton took the lead in the competition. Answering the brutal question was all they needed to get past Walkersville and Calvert Hall, and with only 10 seconds left, there was not much they could do to take back that lead.
    The It’s Academic team has been victorious in the past with a win in 2013 under the leadership of Mr. Sackett. Mr. Sackett remembered the feelings of winning too, “My feelings were excitement and pride whenever we would answer a question correctly,” said Sackett.
    After a very good first round victory, Atholton leader, Mr. Douglas, wishes to get the PTSA more involved with the program.
     “I had asked the PTSA for additional funds so we can get updated equipment. We are talking about fundraisers to get club shirts and things of that nature and as a club want to take our  It’s Academic to the next level here at Atholton” said Mr. Douglas.
    All in all, Atholton’s It’s Academic team will be on TV December 10th, proving not just athletes but academic competitors can make it to big screen.

Posted by Andrew Berman