From the Issue: It’s Academic Team Finds Success in Playoffs


Junior Aaron Weerasighe (left), senior Thomas Keating (middle) and junior Jacob Shpiece (right) smile before taking on an opponent in an It’s Academic match at NBC-4 studios. The team is preparing for its next playoff match. — Photo courtesy of NBC 4

To blind eyes, the chants and intensity that accompanied RHSa�� It’s Academic playoff game could easily be mistaken as last month’s basketball playoff game. The only difference is that captain senior Thomas Keating and juniors Jacob Shpiece and Aaron Weerasighe brought home a win.

Last weekend’s round filmed at NBC-4 studios in Washington D.C. against W.T Woodson and Eleanor Roosevelt High Schools showcased not only the team’s intelligence but their teamwork and determination. In round after round of questions varying from chemistry to Super Bowl winners, the team proved it was prepared for all of it, successfully defeating the defending champions from Woodson.

In the first round, teams had a chance to gain ten points for a correct answer but also lose 10 points for an incorrect answer. RHS dominated without a wrong answer, which set the tempo for the rest of the game, where they would miss only four questions total.

Unfortunately, as far as RHSa�� teams go, many believe It’s Academic lays at the bottom of the totem pole. However, the team has proven itself year after year – this year successfully advancing to the semi-final round. “We’re going to win it, I can just feel it,” said member, sophomore Betsey Gorman.

Until then, the team will continue to prepare for next round which will be against the winning teams in their bracket, Montgomery Blair and St. Anselm’s High Schools. “Blair won’t be a cakewalk but if we practice enough we can beat them,” said Keating.

If It’s Academic playoffs are compared to football, the RHS team is the forgotten underdogs who will be a force to reckon with as they advance to the next round. The team’s coach, Dr. Dave Goodrich, will up their practice to full days of sitting around a kitchen table will false buzzers and will go through the entire library of It’s Academic questions from the 1980’s to today. “It wouldn’t be reasonable for anyone to bet on us, but we’re not very reasonable a�� If the team plays like they did on [last] Saturday, there’s no one we can’t take,” said Dr. Goodrich.

Keating, who could be called the team’s quarterback, leading the brilliant team since the fall, will advance to the semi-final round which can be viewed June 2.