• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

WCHS academic team second in region; wins district

Woodford County High School’s academic team finished second in Region 11 after winning the District 41 title in recent Kentucky Governor’s Cup competition. The WCHS future problem solving and quick recall teams both advanced to the state finals, and six students from WCHS will compete in the state finals in written assessment.

WCHS finished second overall in Region 11 with 34.5 points, while Dunbar High School won the region with 52.5 points.

“We do have a high expectation,” said WCHS academic team Coach April York, “but our region is always very difficult so (a runner-up finish) is in no way a disappointment.”

She pointed out that other Region 11 coaches described their region as the toughest in the state, and she knows Dunbar, a perennial powerhouse, has a really strong team again this year and “we have a lot of respect for them. So (a runner-up finish) was a fine accomplishment…”

The Brain Jackets were second in quick recall (Connor Akers, Seth Allen, Wesley Forte and Sarah Potts) and finished first in future problem solving (FPS) to advance both of those teams to the state Governor’s Cup finals. The FPS team is comprised of two freshmen (Cayce Jones and Aidan Bottom) and two sophomores (Sam Hite and Derek Forte) “so I’m hoping that tradition will continue,” York said.

“It’s really exciting,” added Derek, “because when we were competing at regionals we were definitely the youngest team there and then we ended up getting first, so it’s exciting to know that we have a lot of potential and we can do really well in future years.”

York said the high school’s FPS program, which has not had a team advance to state since 2008, has benefited from a FPS foundation of success at Woodford County Middle School under Coach Tyler Murphy.

Both he and York competed in FPS as high school students so they understand what it takes to win. And Murphy has “laid us a great groundwork,” so York no longer has to work with freshman students on the processes and rules of FPS competition when they join the high school program, she said.

In written assessments, WCHS senior Seth Allen finished first in social studies – with the top score in the state – and was third in arts and humanities in Region 11 to advance to the state Governor’s Cup finals in both subject areas.

WCHS freshman Claire Pinkston (first) and senior Sarah Potts (second) advanced to the state after claiming the top two spots in language arts for WCHS. A fourth-place finish in social studies will also send freshman Trevor Wells to the state finals. WCHS freshman Keaton

Martin advances to state after a fourth-place tie in arts and humanities. Connor Akers, a junior, finished fifth in science and will also represent WCHS at the Kentucky Governor’s Cup finals.

“One of the really notable things is three of the people advancing (to state) are freshman, which is pretty unheard of,” York said. She’s not aware of that ever happening at WCHS.

“We have a very young, talented Governor’s Cup team,” said WCHS senior Wesley Forte.

In District 41 competition, WCHS teams won quick recall and finished second in future problem solving while earning 67 points overall to win the district crown. Anderson County High School was a distant second in the district with 35 total points.

Individually, WCHS dominated its district competition with multiple first-, second- and third-place finishes.

Conner Akers was first in math and third in science. Sam Eagen was second in both math and science. And Caleb May finished fourth in science.

In social studies, Seth Allen (first), Trevor Wells (second) and Alfie Painter (third) led the district and advanced to the region. In arts and humanities, Seth (first), Keaton Martin (second) and Cayce Jones (third) advanced to the region with top-five finishes.

Sarah Potts (first), Claire Pinkston (second) and Emily Brookfield (fourth) also advanced to the region with top-five finishes in language arts. In composition, Emily Brookfield and Logan Craig tied for fifth place in District 41 to advance.

“We did even better at districts than we typically do,” said York. She pointed out that WCHS has now won 11 straight district championships and demonstrated its depth this year with multiple placers in written assessment.

The WCHS academic team now moves onto the Kentucky Governor’s Cup finals on March 17, 18 and 19. And other challenges still await this team in National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT).

Second- and fourth-place varsity finishes in recent NAQT competition was “a huge accomplishment,” said Wesley. “…Our ‘B’ team is much better than our ‘B’ team has ever been.”

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