Outstanding Season for Academic Team
Unbeaten Academic Team wins title
Posted on 04/10/2013
2013 BMS Academic Team, CAC TournamentStory by Linda Lou Lamb

The Benson Middle School Academic Team brought home the championship trophy after winning the Cochise Athletic Conference title on Monday, April 1, but this was not the only trophy they have to show for the season. The A-team brought home six other titles this year, winning every competition they entered this season — a first in the 20-plus years of middle school academic team competitions.

The CAC championship was held in the Benson Multi-purpose building with Principal Shad Housley welcoming everyone to the tournament. After introductions, competition began.

Tied with Bisbee after the first written round of 60 multiple choice questions, the Bobcats returned to the table for the first oral round of 30 questions, where they took over first place by five points. The third oral round of 30 questions sealed Benson’s victory as they finished the competition with 75 points, five ahead of Coronado with 70, and Bisbee in third with 68.  Also competing in the CAC championship were St. David, Smith, Willcox, Huachuca City, and Valley View.

“This year’s A-team members were spirited, serious, and reflective in their approach to all their competitions,” Benson Middle School co-coach Gene Bilodeau said following the teams’ conference championship. “They were, and are, a perfect combination of youthful enthusiasm but with an eye to their future. As much as they were competing to win the meets, they were at the same time challenging themselves, working as a team, and trusting one another.”

Members of the Benson Middle School A-team include eighth-graders Emily Rosengarten, Caleb Miller, Maria Galloway-Spreitsma, Samantha Fortner, Zack Wiegand, and Kolton Miller.

The middle school Bobcats also have a B-team which has competed all season; however, the conference championships only allow for one team per school to compete and that consists of only A-team competitors. Benson’s B-team members include:  eighth-grader Kolten Miller; seventh-graders Sidni Calley, Victoria Thomas, Annie Graham, and Emma Hillyard; and sixth-graders Hannah Rudd, Holly Rudd, Kaileigh Thompson, and Brett Miller.

Benson Middle School’s co-coach Nona Hansen was equally enthusiastic about the performance of the academic team this year. “This was an exceptional team because, as a group, they worked well together,” she said. “No matter where they would fall in the competition, they would simply work harder in the next round to get to first place.”

“The team has also had a lot of parental support,” Hansen added, “with parents traveling to all competitions to support the team.”

Now, as the BMS A-team members continue on to high school, they definitely have another memory of their middle school years to take with them – a perfect season of academic competition … and potentially more awards to come during their high school years.