Minford, Wheelersburg win Academic Divisions

Division I Champs Minford High School. Pictured front row (L to R) is Ryan Higbee, Jenna Powell, and Zach Higbee. Middle row (L to R) is Skylar Minzelli, Ethan Lauder, Leah Hammons, Morgan Thornsberry, and Logan Boston. Back row (L to R) is Coach Brett Oakes, Nathan Murta, Abe Heimbach, Oliver Rudmann, Alex Powell (captain), Arrick Riffe, and Michael Grasso.

Division II Champs Wheelersburg High School. Pictured front row (L to R) is Coach Brian Oakes, Jordan Spence, Kurt Kaskey, Christina Martin, and Madisyn Staggs. Back row (L to R) is Michael Spradlin, Taylor Davis, Carson McCorkle, and Nate Marcum. Not pictured are Jacob Coy and Tait Nelson.

PORTSMOUTH — Minford and Wheelersburg high schools won Division I and II Champions, respectively, at the Southern Ohio Academic Tournament on March 10 at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth.

Coached by brothers Brett and Brian Oakes, the two teams will advance to the regional competition in Lancaster, Ohio, on April 16.

Teams from Minford, Piketon, West, Green, Valley, East, Oak Hill, and Clay high schools competed for the title of Division I Champions, while Wheelersburg, Rock Hill, Scioto CTC, Notre Dame, Northwest, New Boston, South Webster, and Portsmouth high schools competed for the title of Division II Champions.

This was a double-elimination tournament with each school playing a minimum of two matches. Each round consists of questions from American literature, mathematics, world history, fine arts, life sciences, world literature, U.S. government, physical sciences, geography and U.S. history, as well as an “Alphabet Round” (where all answers begin with the same letter of the alphabet) and a Lightning Round of questions from all categories.

The Minford High School team, coached by Brett Oakes, emerged as the Division I Champions. Clay High School, under the leadership of Cindy Parkes, took the Runner-up title.

“I was really impressed with how they performed. They’ve won their regular season title; now they’ve won their tournament title and qualified for regionals. Qualifying for regionals is our goal each year. We’ve met that goal for the past seven years,” said Minford Coach Brett Oakes.

The Division II Championship was won by Wheelersburg High School, led by Coach Brian Oakes. The Runner-up title went to Portsmouth High School and their coach, Amy Keating.

“We won four straight matches to win the championship, and I thought the kids all played really well as a team. I think that was a good prep for our regional tournament. We’ve made it to regionals I’d say the past four years,” said Wheelersburg Coach Brian Oakes. “In the regionals we’ll come up against some of the teams in Columbus that are also in our region. It’s going to be pretty stiff competition, but this year we’re looking to compete a little bit better than years’ past, and make some noise in the tournament.”

The Tournament was hosted by the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center and Shawnee State University and coordinated by Gifted Coordinator Sharee Price. Moderators for the event were Marcia Tackett, Cathy Mullins, Dr. Darrell Rudmann, Tony Lavinder, Chuck Burke, Ethan Lawson, Mark Rose, and Jeremy Duncan.

For more information about the South Central Ohio ESC, visit online at www.scoesc.org, or follow the ESC on Facebook and Twitter.