It was the very last round of the Regional tournament in January when the PHS academic bowl team made a fatal mistake. The team had to choose between sports team mascots in the lightning round over the other option, songs from the 1970s, which caused conflict as many members believed they would do well in one over the other.


Madeline Brennan

THEY KNOW IT: Daniel Rodriguez, junior, Michael Hamilton, sophomore, and Myles Fabian, freshman, vie for a point during a round of Academic Bowl practice. This was the very first practice for the Academic Bowl team and was held on September 18, 2019. “We want to go all the way to state!” Bailey Pickle, co-captain, said about the team’s goals for this year.

Madeline Brennan, Staff

The team ultimately put their faith in sports team mascots in a lightning round that would either send them home or all the way to State. Their decision would prove deadly. The team ended up losing the round by a mere ten points, crushing their dreams of going to State.


“We shouldn’t have taken that risk. We should have used our intuition and taken the safe route,” Pickle, co-captain of the Academic Bowl team for the 2019-2020 season, says. 


This year, however, the team is determined to amend their mistakes and go all the way. Pickle says the main goal of the team is to make it to State and win.


Kenny Ni, sophomore, is returning to Academic Bowl this year. It will be his second year as a member. 


“I’m very excited for this season,” said Ni.


 Ni, along with John Ocampo, also a sophomore, are rising stars on the team and expected to take over leadership positions in the near future. 


Ocampo, who is also returning for a second year, is also ready.


 “I’m very much looking forward to this year and the great time we are going to have,” said Ocampo.


Last year the team said goodbye to two valuable players, Jerrett Carpenter and Logan Midgley, who graduated in May. Midgley acted as the team’s sports expert while Carpenter’s areas of expertise were theater and different areas of science.


Pickle is not phased by their departure.


 “I think that anything we’ve lost we will be able to replace,” Pickle said.


The team will be gaining many new and valuable players this year. Emily Teague, sophomore, is joining this year. She has previously played for the middle school team. 


“I’m very excited to see how our team does against the others,” Teague said.


The Academic Bowl team began practicing on Wednesday, September 18. They will meet on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4:00 to 5:30 until the end of the season. Their first meet will be the second annual LeFlore County tournament, which they also host, on October 1 followed by the seeding tournament on October 10. Everyone is encouraged to join the team on their journey to State.