Wantagh Academic Team Rules First Competition of the Year

Jenna Miller, Editor in Chief

Wantagh High School’s academic team, run by retired Wantagh teacher Mr. Bogatz and graced with the presence of many new students joining it this year, competed in its first competition against MacArthur at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School November 15.

The team has been running for decades and is divided up into Varsity and Junior Varsity. Usually the Varsity team is made up of all seniors, but for this competition juniors and even a few sophomores had to join in due to the shortage of seniors. The Junior Varsity team typically consists of juniors and sophomores, with a few freshmen sometimes as well; for this competition, it was all juniors.

At the competitions, the academic team takes on four different rounds centered around answering trivia questions based around a potpourri of topics. Round 1 is the toss-up round, where random questions of random topics are given and the team that buzzes in first to answer the given question answers it. If they get that question wrong, the other team can “bounce back” to answer it right; if they get it right, then they also get to answer a bonus question for a chance at earning even more points. Round 2 is the group round, where the team captain picks a set of questions to answer and the entire team works together to answer all 5 in the set. The questions they answer wrong in the set can be answered by the other team. Round 3 is the lightning round, where the team captain picks a topic that all the questions in the round are in relation to. They have 60 seconds to answer as many questions as they can. Just as in the prior round, the questions they answer wrong in the set can be answered by the other team. Round 4 is the danger round, which is the same as Round 1 except there’s no “bouncing back” and if an answer isn’t answered correctly, the team who gave the wrong answer has points deducted from their score.

The heated competition began with the Varsity team facing off against MacArthur’s. The Varsity team consists of Jenna Miller, Athena Yao, Abby Colaco, Grace Anne McKenna, Tim Migliaro, Tom Curan, and Jacob Chan. The members rotated each round so that everyone could have an opportunity to answer questions, as only four team members are allowed per round. Mr. Bogatz and the students agreed that the questions in the Varsity competition were crazy; Bogatz claimed they were like no questions he had ever seen before. Though they lost to MacArthur, with a student who goes by the name of “John” leading the team to a 139-29 victory over Wantagh, they did relatively well for their first time and for having been faced with questions that were completely out-of-the-ordinary.

The Junior Varsity team contains members who had already participated in the Academic Team the prior year: Theo Hostetter, twin brother Will Hostetter, Travis Minutoli, and Justin Froese. The boys dominated the competition, winning 174-49 against MacArthur. Will Hostetter in particular scored a new record for the highest amount of questions answered right by any Junior Varsity competitor in Wantagh’s history.

The team and Bogatz alike are proud of how their first competition turned out and are looking very forward to continuing this wonderful season and trying their best at future competitions.