By TASHA STEWART
Academic teams across Knox County have worked very hard this season, as indicated by the awards night held earlier this month, a very special accomplishments that did not go unnoticed, three teams that finished undefeated this year: Dewitt Elementary rookies, Jesse D. Lay Elementary junior varsity (JV) and Barbourville Elementary varsity.
“This is their third year with me. They’re used to routine, they know what to practice and when I give them things to study, they work very hard to know that content,” said Lay JV coach Lea Hammons.
While all teams finished undefeated, the season was not always cut and dried for the students and coaches.
“I actually thought we had lost a game, but it was because it was so close at the end that we only won by a point,” said Dewitt rookie coach Cynthia Early. “There were several games that we were behind by many points, but allowed me to discover that several of our players, especially our MVP Kashawn Robinson, work well under pressure.”
Barbourville varsity team not only remained undefeated after opposing every elementary school in the county, ending with a 7-0 record, but they also swept the award ceremony at the 6th Grade Showcase.
“The county-wide 6th Grade Showcase was held on December 2 at Lynn Camp Elementary where our 6th grade team went undefeated and placed first place in Quick Recall. They also received First Place Overall,” said Barbourville varsity coach Suzanne Gibbs.
The hard work is not over yet, though. Students across Knox County will begin preparing for district and regional competition, also called Governor’s Cup, when school resumes in 2018. For the three undefeated teams, the stakes are very high.
“The Governor’s Cup will have a different format. There are specific study lists and we will attack those. We have already been looking at them,” continued Hammons.
Students will compete in five written examinations (mathematics, science, social studies, language arts and arts and humanities), composition (on-demand writing), quick recall and future problem solving. Elementary District competition will be held February 6 and 10. Those who advance in their category will then compete in regional competition held February 26 and March 3.
Regardless of the outcome, the coaches couldn’t be prouder of their students.
Gibbs said while her students enjoyed the competition this season, they “always remained humble. They encouraged each other and loved seeing their friends on opposing teams. I am incredibly proud of them and it was my honor to coach them this year!”
By TASHA STEWART