Academic weapons


Photo provided by RJR academic team Instagram

Academic Team in front of the final score of their quarterfinal win against Mt. Tabor.

Allison Boyd, Sports Editor

The RJ Reynolds High School academic team excelled during their 2022-2023 season. Competing against various schools, the team finished with a winning record! 

“I only did one year of academic team, but from what I can tell we had a pretty good season,” senior Stuart MacMillan said. “We lost to Atkins and beat Tabor, which is about what I expected.”

The academic team parallels a sports team with both practices after school and matches against other high schools in the area. 

“We met most Mondays,” math coach Jakob Diskin said. “We didn’t do too much practice, we more talked about strategy: which players would start the match [and] which players would come in for us as substitutions.

 Diskin coached academic team for the first time this season and really enjoyed his first experience with the team. He described the experience as a learning curve but overall lots of fun. 

“My plan is to next year have packets each week (obviously they’re optional) but have something for my team so they can get used to that kind of math,” Diskin said. “Even though a lot of the students have straight A’s and are in the highest level math, there are a bunch of questions from either earlier math classes or like random applications that it’s good to have practiced.”

Students can compete in up to two of the five subjects offered: English, math, science, social studies, and general knowledge. 

“There are five rounds: English, math, science, social studies, and general knowledge,” junior Ada Farmer said. “Each round, there are a few sets of questions. Each set has a toss-up question worth five points that either team can buzz in for. The team that gets the toss-up gets the first set of directed questions, which you have a certain amount of time to discuss with your teams and those total up to 12 points.”

Teams collect points in individual categories, and then all the scores are added up for the final winner of the competition. During time off in competitions, students cheer one another on, do homework, or even make coffee runs. 

“It’s a really fun way to get to hang out with people,” Diskin said. “It’s not too much of a commitment so like during the meets a lot of the times most of the students aren’t participating so they’ll sit and do homework together and it like serves as a little study hall time. It’s a chance to have fun, hang out with people but also get some work done.”

Students spend time together and compete against other schools. Participation even earns credit for a varsity sport due to the team’s competitive nature.