LHS Academic Challenge Team Gets State Rings

The Latta High School Academic Challenge Team were awarded their state championship rings this week.

The 2017-18 Academic Challenge Team won the Championship of Academics last year. The team was led by Mrs. Elaine Smith, who embraced the concept of having our students lead the team, develop strategy and implement the game plan each week. Senior Captains responsible for this were Brianna Carter, Sam George, Preston Johnson and Briana Williams.
A critical component to this strategy was the collection and analysis of performance data each practice and match, which was conducted by team statistician Skyla Watson. Coach Smith was also determined that every player was critical to the team effort, so each player contributed to every match, and no ONE player was considered most valuable, as all were valuable contributors to the team victories!
The regular season was a bit rocky with two matches canceled for weather or the opposing team’s transportation issues. The team finished the regular season 3 and 1. While not a perfect season, the team’s determined preparation paid off in the region tournament. The team won all matches in the tournament and were victorious over Lake View in the region championship round, which secured us a spot at State!
At the state tournament, the team beat Camden High School, which has a student enrollment twice Latta High School’s size with 980 students. This victory set up the final championship round against Laurens High School, which has a student enrollment of 1,661 students…about 3 ? times Latta’s size! But our mighty Vikings fought brilliantly through a nail-biting match to clinch the championship win by one point! Fitzhugh Bethea led the team with points to bring home the trophy.
Latta High School is proud to recognize the efforts of our Academic Challenge Team. Our Middle School team came in state runners up last year…so the future of Academic Challenge is bright at Latta High School.
Team members are Fitzhugh Bethea, Brianna Carter, Hailee Diaz, Emir Elhuni, Sam George, Gracen Grainger, Christian-Kate Hayes, Madelon Hucks, Preston Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Lea-Foster Khalil, Matthew Mason, Jacob Nolan, Ev Seay, Skyla Watson, and Briana Williams, and Coach Elaine Smith.

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