A glance at the crowded trophy case containing Carroll County High School’s Mountain Academic Competition Conference (MACC) trophies proves Cavaliers have a long winning tradition against larger school districts in academic competitions. The latest trophy was brought home by the CCHS Science MACC team for the SuperMACC Championship for academics.
“They knew their stuff,” said Science Team Coach Rachelle Rasco. “I feel I have a good team up next year, too.” She noted that this year’s effort was led by Team Co-Captains Drew Campbell, Josh Rasco and Kody Watson, who are veteran members of the team.
The science team fell to Galax 66-65 in the Western Division Tournament on March 19 at Rural Retreat High School. The team finished as tournament runner-ups after posting wins over Grayson and Fort Chiswell. The Cavalier English team bested Rural Retreat and Galax but fell to George Wythe 66-55 to finish as tourney runner-ups. The Science team beat Grayson and Fort Chiswell and advanced to the finals but fell to Galax 66-65.
Carroll’s Social Studes team won the championship 70-28 over Galax. It advanced to the final round after downing Fort Chiswell and Grayson. The All-Around team lost in quarterfinal action to Rural Retreat 55-51. Season and tournament wins earned a slot in the SuperMACC Championships (where the top two teams from Eastern and Western divisions face off) at Radford University on March 21 for the English, Science and Social Studies teams. This meant Carroll and Galax tied for the second most teams at SuperMACC with perennial powerhouse Blacksburg.
The Cavalier Science team defeated Christiansburg 78-50 and downed Galax 75-58 for the SuperMACC Championship. The Social Studies team fell to Radford in the semifinal, 65-63. The English team defeated Pulaski 63-35 but their comeback attempt in the finals was halted by George Wythe, who won 70-65 (on the last question).
Rasco and Campbell agreed when they began in MACC years ago at CCHS it was one of the few competitions putting academic performance in the limelight. They said they have seen more opportunities for students to flex their intellectual muscles and noted MACC is different that athletic sports.
The Science team members are Izzy Largen, Cole Ousley, Drew Campbell, Josh Rasco, Coach Rachelle Rasco, Jake Landau, Ryan Sitterly, Dylan Phillips, Kody Watson and CJ Richardson. The Social Studies team members are Shane Sizemore, Malachi Shuman, Maverick Lineberry-Jennings, and Kaylan Gwyn. Students on the English team are Alyssa Smith, Bree Salyer, Sarah Tensen, Hunter Bryant and Jacie Newman.
“In MACC we (students) have a lot to do with practices, we captains did a lot of it (organizing),” said Campbell. Rasco said a big part of the difference is the format of the competition where certain team members are the “voice of the team” and have to answer questions.
Campbell said his brother played on the team and he caught the MACC bug watching students prepare for the matches as well as watching his brother compete.
“This was my first year (with MACC),” said senior Shane Sizemore of the social studies team. “I had to learn the ropes.” Like many of the other team members, Sizemore was impressed with the range and amount of subject matter that had to be learned before a match.
Supreme Court case questions proved particularly important with students having to study 40 cases. (About two questions pertaining to cases were asked a round at the recent matches.) The social studies division can encompass questions from areas including economics, current events and history.
“We had a rebuilding year. We lost three strong senior team members from last year,” said Coach Stephanie Wright. “It was an awesome feeling. I feel honored to have been a part of it (this year). MACC is revered outside of its circle. It’s a chance to see what others (talents) are like. We certainly proved we have the skills.”
She said Carroll’s team members really stepped up with its core group built around three sophomores. Wright said the semifinal was a “heartbreaker.” She said the team’s 5-1-1 season (with a tie to Graham and a loss to Galax) and advancing to the Western Tournament was a fantastic experience.
Students confirmed MACC’s “circles” can be like the action in each of the rings of a circus. English team members Hunter Bryant, Brianna Salyer and Sarah Tensen said (in true super hero fashion) the team found itself once again pitted against what has become its arch-nemesis, George Wythe.
Their rally fell short as George Wythe held on to win and regain an upper hand (win-loss wise) to avenge Carroll beating them last season. Tensen said the English team’s subject matter is regarded by the more scientific-oriented teams as a horse of a different color. The team had to familiarize itself with subjects contained in eight novels and eight plays in addition to grammar rules.
Tensen, Salyer and Bryant were quick to point out their task is not just reading and memorization, with questions coming from any genre at any time. They said it is a speed contest with participants anticipating the question and dire consequences if they are wrong.
Salyer said she wants to become a teacher while Tensen said she can pretty much be found reading or with a book in her hand anytime during the day. All agreed it has been a great year for scholastics at CCHS. Coaches said MACC benefits include helping prep for college and providing an outlet and a reward for academic prowess.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.