Stomachs were tied in knots, palms were sweaty and the air was thick with tension at the 2023 Regional Academic Bowl earlier this month. But, when it was all over, the FCPS Academic Bowl team made Frederick County very proud!
They placed second out of 19 teams in the regional competitions held at Kentucky School for the Deaf, and earned a trip to nationals at Gallaudet University in April.
FCPS established its first-ever Academic Bowl team for deaf and hard of hearing students this school year. Students from Oakdale and Urbana high schools formed FCPS’ squad:
- Sophia Fernandez (senior, OHS)
- Elijah Strom (senior, UHS)
- Aaron Strom (sophomore, UHS)
- Coaches: Keith Nolan and Jerri Seremeth
“The players were just outstanding,” said Coach Nolan. “We couldn't be any prouder and all the more when it is FCPS's very first inaugural year to play in the Academic Bowl."
There are three regional competitions (West, Central, East). The top five teams from each region move on to the national competition at Gallaudet. The FCPS team went undefeated in seven games during the first two days of the contest. Unfortunately, they lost in a tiebreaker to California School for the Deaf, Riverside.
In addition to the team’s success, two players received individual awards:
- All Star Award - Aaron Strom
- Most Outstanding Player - Sophia Fernandez