By Andy Lyon
The 2016-2017 edition of Boyd County Middle School’s Academic Team can be best described in two words: culture changing.
Fifteen students will represent Boyd County Middle School at the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition (KAAC) State Competition from March 11th through the13th, the largest number of students to represent this school in close to twenty years.
The team members are: Maggie Kinnel, Grace Conley, Mark Tabor, Jackson Davis, Peyton Boblett, Adrian McDaniels, Colby Winters, Yasmeen Bashadi, Grace Stubblefield, Hudson Cox, Brenden Fisher, Zaid Wadi, Ali Criss, and Alannah Hall. The coaches for the team are: Tony Clarke: Head Coach and Quick Recall Coach, Latisha Sparks and Leah Dixon: FPS Coaches, Lori Copley: Written Composition Coach, Andrew Lyon: Language Arts Tutor and Quick Recall Coach, Doug Bowling: Science Tutor, Katherine Kendall: Arts & Humanities Tutor, Bill Criss: Math Tutor, and Nat Grey: Social Studies Tutor.
These students lost only one local league meet during the season, a meet that was very close in terms of overall points.
Evidence of a 'culture changing' year can be seen and felt in more than just their win-loss record. The students bought into the idea that the little things, such as studying their material at least 15 to 20 minutes a night, a consistent practice schedule, paying attention to the current question, not buzzing in early on a second read through, and not keeping score during a match, will help carry a team to success in competition.
Winning the school’s first district championship in 11 years (and in such dominating fashion), followed by an equally impressive runner-up performance at region - where the difference between first and second was 3.3 points - was not just a matter of luck. Neither was winning at least 24 total Quick Recall matches, or having at least 2 students score in the top 10 in the whole state on the Regional test in the written assessment category.
In addition to their impressive local performances, the team traveled to 2 out-of-town tournaments to help prepare for the Governor’s Cup. A fourth place overall finish at the prestigious Edmonson County Tournament in December, helped to show these students that they most certainly can compete with the best in the state. Coaches of teams that routinely compete for state championships were talking about what a good team BCMS had, and that Boyd County Middle School had their competitors scared.
This team also finished in the top 16 at the Danville Bate Middle School Tournament, competing against a field of Kentucky’s best teams.
These performances are a far cry from what one student on a rival schoo teaml said after the first Quick Recall match of the year, that they “knew” this team (referring to BCMS) was going to be "easy to beat." That particular student was proven wrong not just once, but 3 times. This team is anything but "easy to beat." They are the start of something special for Boyd County Schools, and these kids realize that they have helped set a new standard for the academic program.
The BCMS team has the drive and determination to continue to grow and improve; 2 things that you cannot coach or teach, but that will, none-the-less, serve as the cornerstone for Boyd County’s academic program going forward.
The future is very bright for this program, as there were some very impressive sixth graders who did well not only at the Sixth Grade Showcase, but also did well enough to earn a spot on the Governor’s Cup team.
The students understand the importance of making this program successful, and will do anything they can to ensure that the bar is not lowered.
We wish the coaches, parents, and most importantly, the students the best of luck at state in March!