Students win academic games

Ramstein American High School’s Academic Games team won the Department of Defense Dependent Schools Europe Academic Games championship by defeating Heidelberg High School in a final round of remarkable competition.
“The competition was challenging, but we were confident and we won it,” said team captain and one of two MVPs for this year’s two-day tournament, Bryan Eslinger.
Fellow team members were: Brian Greeley, Chris Kieta, Eric Oyan and Jon Judge.
Twenty-one high schools entered this year’s competition. Teams consisted of a senior, junior, sophomore, freshman and an alternate.
Second place went to Heidelberg, third to Naples, fourth to Kaiserslautern, fifth to Aviano and sixth to Bamberg High School.
For two days students responded to challenging questions from disciplines such as literature, mathematics, physics, languages, the arts and current events.
“The questions were difficult, but we all had an equal chance of winning,” said Zachery Pierce, a member of the Iceland team.
Everyone was in agreement that the most difficult questions were in the field of literature.
“The kids continually amazed me; the questions were so difficult. It makes me proud of the academic level of our DODDS students,” said Kathleen Duke, a moderator for the games and high school English teacher.
Teams practiced at their schools for several months in preparation for the competition.
An added bonus students expressed was meeting the team members from the other schools. Naples and Iceland students met to prepare and share in a spaghetti dinner one evening.
“The atmosphere of intelligence and exceptional friendliness was as rewarding as the actual competition,” said Sam Ochinany, from Wuerzburg.
Some students felt that the event “was the chance of a lifetime.”
The director of the competition was Bamma McCoy, a high school social studies teacher from Ramstein. She has been involved with the academic games competitions for eight years.
Preparation for this year’s event began in August 2003.
“The level of intellect of the students at this young age is amazing,” said Ms. McCoy.
She has worked with many of the coaches in the past and credits much of the overall success of the two-day competition to the team effort and commendable dedication the coaches provide to their students.
Even though the formal competition has come to an end for this year, students and coaches departed ready to eagerly prepare for next year’s event.
When it comes to the DODDS Europe Academic Games Competition, everyone leaves a winner.
(Courtesy of Ramstein American High School)