The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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Fresh off a state championship, Scholastic Bowl takes to Atlanta for national tournament

The+Scholastic+Bowl+Team+stands+in+front+of+the+Olympic+rings+of+Centennial+Olympic+Park+in+Atlanta%2C+Ga.%2C+ahead+of+the+NAQT+High+School+National+Championship+Tournament+on+May+25%2C+2024.+From+left+to+right%2C+from+top+to+bottom%3A+Clark+Smith%2C+Samuel+Kidd%2C+Austin+Mao%2C+Meilin+Ranjan%2C+Cole+Graninger%2C+Jackson+Crickard%2C+Kaushik+Tatta%2C+Rockwell+Li%2C+Frankie+Graninger%2C+and+Miranda+Blaser.%0APhoto+used+with+permission+from+David+Smith.%0A
The Scholastic Bowl Team stands in front of the Olympic rings of Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Ga., ahead of the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament on May 25, 2024. From left to right, from top to bottom: Clark Smith, Samuel Kidd, Austin Mao, Meilin Ranjan, Cole Graninger, Jackson Crickard, Kaushik Tatta, Rockwell Li, Frankie Graninger, and Miranda Blaser. Photo used with permission from David Smith.

For the first time since 2006, the Ocean Lakes Scholastic Bowl team will head to the National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) in Atlanta, Ga., on May 25 and 26, 2024.

This comes on the heels of the team’s first-ever state title this past March. 

The journey to the national championship has been challenging with regionals proving to be a tough task.

After the regular season, at regionals, we played a double elimination style tournament. We ended up in the loser’s bracket but made a comeback and won in the championship round,” said Scholastic Bowl coach Miranda Blaser.

From there, the team had some fierce competition ahead of them. However, their resilience led the group to come out on top.

“We then progressed to states and played the three other regional champions in Class 5. We won all three of the matches at states and brought home the first state title for Ocean Lakes,” said Blaser.

With the focus now turning to the national tournament, the team looks forward to the challenges that come with competing against some of the best teams in the country.

“Most of us are pretty excited because it’s fun to actually play in one of these really competitive events. We’ve had a couple of competitive matches here and there, but every match is going to be competitive [at nationals],” said senior Meilin Ranjan. 

According to junior Kaushik Tatta, the team isn’t holding their standards too high as this is the team’s first national tournament. However, he believes that the team still has the ability to place well.

“Last year, Princess Anne placed 49th, and we lost to them by a small margin. After making some improvements to the team, our skill set is a lot more refined, and I believe we can place higher if everything goes perfectly,” said Kaushik.

According to Blaser, the team’s sportsmanship this year has also contributed to their success, and it will be crucial to their performance at nationals.

“This team is so respectful of their teammates and others. The upperclassmen offer advice and support to the younger players about what they can do to improve their speed and confidence,” said Blaser. “They just work so well together and have a love for the game.”

The team will have to face the pressure that comes with playing in a competitive national tournament, but Meilin feels that the team is ready to face the challenge.

“You are going to have to be dialed in, and I guess the pressure is a bit scary, but it’s also part of the game. It’s part of what makes the game fun,” said Meilin. “I think they’re ready for that.”

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About the Contributor
Austin Stegerwald
Austin Stegerwald, Staff Writer
Austin Stegerwald is a sophomore in his first year as a journalist for The Current. Outside the newspaper, he also enjoys playing soccer, participating in school clubs and listening to music.

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