DHS eyes academic league championship
March 4, 2016
Douglas High School will try to make it four championships in a row Wednesday when the Northern Nevada Academic League tournament is held at Stateline.
The tournament, which is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. at Harveys Lake Tahoe Hotel & Casino, is expected to feature a showdown between two familiar rivals who have dominated the league for the past decade — Churchill County and Douglas.
Last year, the league tournament came down to the final question before C.J. Hill successfully answered a question on conversion to put Douglas' six-student team over the top in the "Jeopardy!" style event. Nothing has changed since then because the Douglas Tigers and Churchill County Greenwave enter the finals at the end of a regular season in which they wound up tied for first-place.
"We're in a dead heat with Fallon, so it's kind of exciting" said Karen Heine, who co-coaches the team along with Christine Ensign.
Separate plaques are presented to teams that win the season tournament championships.
Douglas, Churchill County and George Whittell are the participating schools.
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Douglas team members include Ryan Long, Connor Filbin, Jonah O'Connor, Koby Hinnant, Spencer Trivitt, Jason Lowther, Landon Whiteley, Kaleb Morris, Mark Angelo and Hill.
"We have some really good representation on the math and science fronts, but we also have some kids who are very strong in English and history, so it's a nice mix of students," Heine said of the Douglas team.
Questions cover a variety of categories, Ensign explained.
"It's kind of Jeopardy style in that way … there's math and science, econ and government, history, English and literature, then there's potpourri, which could be computer technology, current information or pop culture."
Douglas returned home with a fourth-place finish — and $1,000 in prize money — from the 25th annual Nevada Regional Science Bowl held Feb. 6 in Las Vegas.
"It was super exciting," Ensign said. "We're so very proud of them. They worked really well together as a team."
Added Heine: "And those were really high-powered schools — Coral Academies in Las Vegas and Reno, and Davidson Academy — and we were competing with them."
Douglas — with a lineup that included seniors Hinnant, Morris, Whiteley, Long and Trivitt, a junior — reached the final four before losing to Reno High School. Douglas also lost twice to the eventual champion Davidson Academy team from Reno, although the second matchup was a competitive affair.
"We were winning at the first half, which was pretty exciting," Ensign said. "We have a huge strength in chemistry and math, but they also answered questions in biology, physics, astronomy and general science. But I don't think there was a school at the tournament that outscored us in chemistry."
Heine described it as a good team effort.
"They complemented each other nicely," she said. "They really structured their own team and they subbed in and out, very aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. And they took responsibility for a mistake or failure, but they didn't let it get them down. They learned from it and then they got better the next round. That was nice to watch."