NEWBERRY — The Newberry County School District celebrated two state champions Monday night, Mid-Carolina Middle School’s Academic Team for winning the South Carolina State Championship for Academics competition and the Newberry High School Lady Bulldogs for winning the Region 3-AAA Championship.
“This is the first time, and I’ve been in this business a long time in this District, this is the first time that I can ever remember recognizing two state championship teams, one of them being academic state champions in South Carolina and the other being athletic champions in South Carolina, on the same night,” said Superintendent Jim Suber.
During the 2018 academic year, Mid-Carolina Middle School competed against schools within the Western Piedmont Consortium in the regional Academic Challenge. They won the WPEC region on March 7 and advanced to the state level. On March 22 they headed to the S.C. State Championship of Academics competition at Francis Marion University.
“They first defeated Hillcrest Middle School 44 to 19 in the semi-finals to then advance to finals. They beat Latta Middle School 45 to 30 in the final round to become state academic champions. MCMS proudly represented their school, Newberry County and the Western Piedmont Consortium. We are proud of coaches Janna Richardson and Kristin Caughman and student competitors being recognized tonight,” said Pamela Arrington, executive director of human resources.
Those who comprised the team included, Kelsey Buckley, Madelyn Coker, Katlyn Crooks, Nicole Curtis, Jonathan Gantt, Kendellin Haltiwanger, Samuel Hawkins, Leila Quattlebaum, Rachel Redd, Micah Schafer, Ella Schafer, Emma Stuck, James VanZadelhoff and Maya Williams.
The Lady Bulldogs Basketball Team were also recognized for becoming the State Champions for Region 3-AAA
“The Newberry High School Varsity Girls Basketball team posted a 25-4 record on its way to capturing the SCHSL Region 3-AAA championship and the Class AAA Girls Basketball State Championship. The team overcame many obstacles to not only return to the state championship game for the second consecutive year, but to capture the state title after falling in last year’s game by one point,” Arrington said.
Additionally, Rayanna Davis was recognized for being All-State, Player of Year for Region and North South All Star. Kelsey Felks was also recognized for being All-State.
The team was comprised of, Shandrick Davis, Diamond Davis, Rehgan Miller, Lindsey Ruff, Zacharia Epps, Tashari Hayward, Titiana Garrison, Subrina Davis, Kelsey Felks, Jahliah Eigner, C’Xaurius Corley, Kelsey Havird, Morgan Moon and Somaria Ellis.
Mid-Carolina Middle School’s Robotics Team (Tyler Shackelford, Sabrina Weng, Ashlyn Kinard) was recognized for taking second place in the S.C. Project Lead the Way Competition. Project Lead the Way is the number one STEM program in the United States. The University of South Carolina is the program’s state affiliate and hosts the annual South Carolina PLTW Engineering Competition for PLTW Middle Schools at the University’s School of Engineering.
“This year teams from over 20 schools across the state attended the event. The Automation and Robotics Competition was extremely challenging. Student teams had to design and build a robot in advance, according to specific design criteria. The challenge involved the ability of the robot to first go up and over a ramp at a 30-degree angle and then lift and move hockey pucks from various locations on the playing field into a goal,” Arrington said. “This event was set as a head to head competition, in which two teams competed on the field at the same time. The team with the most hockey pucks in their goal at the end of the two minute time won the match. Teams advanced until they lost twice. Mid-Carolina Middle School’s Robotics Team spent a month preparing for the event, working before, during, and after school as well as one very long Saturday. The team had one of the best designs and easily scaled and crossed the ramp. The team is coached by Mrs. Cecilia Kelly.”
Students from the Newberry County Career Center were recognized for winning at the Business Professionals of America Leadership Conference. Thomas Clark, a senior at Newberry High School, placed first on the Computer Animation Team; Nigel Boyce, a senior at Newberry High School, placed first on the Computer Animation Team; Mason Shealy, a sophomore at Mid-Carolina High School, received first place on the Computer Animation Team; and Annie Tindall, a senior at Mid-Carolina High School, received second place for Integrated Office Applications.
“These students participated in the Business Professionals of America Leadership Conference in Rock Hill on February 22 and 23. They have all been invited to compete in Nationals in Houston, Texas in May,” Arrington said.
• The board passed second reading of the 2018-19 school calendar.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.