SIDNEY — The Sidney High School Academia Team was recently honored for winning their ninth consecutive Acadmia championship. It is the 19th time in school history that they have won the championship. The county Academic competition began in 1975.
In honor of their achievement, Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst proclaimed Oct. 31 as “Sidney High School Academia Team Day.”
Sidney High School’s Academia team “must be recognized for their outstanding educational achievements” said Barhorst. Echoing these sentiments Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela added that “education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world.” If the Nobel Prize recipient is correct, then the members of Sidney High School’s Academia team have proven that they will be prepared to significantly improve our community and our nation, said Barhorst.
While Sidney High School has fielded an Academia team since 1975, the school’s successful run corresponds with the arrival of Social Studies teacher and adviser Brett Bickel in 2007. Bickel devotes numerous hours every week to help prepare his students. Bickel credits his involvement as adviser to his time as a student at Sidney High School nearly two decades earlier.
“I am simply honoring my teacher, Bill Ross, and his ability to infuse enthusiasm and a zest of learning into his students,” said Bickel. He added that aside from watching his students mature and demonstrate their cognitive skills, his second greatest joy is that “Sidney High School, in an intense academic setting, is able to compete with the largest schools in the state as well as exclusive private schools, and consistently emerge victorious.”
The young scholars prepare for competition by devoting every Tuesday and Thursday after school, and even meeting twice a week in the summer months. Despite long drives, long hours, and a shortage of school funds, the team pushes forward. Their efforts have led to nine straight Shelby County Championships; three straight GWOC North Championships; and for local bragging rights, a record 35-0 vs. Vandalia Butler, Piqua, Troy, Greenville, Trotwood since 2010. At the state level, the Sidney students have placed second in the state for the past two years running, and have recently been ranked as high as No. 19 throughout the United States.
Approximately 400 students have been members of the SHS Academia team since its inception nearly 40 years ago. This year, the team has 17 members. They are Nour Hijazi, Andrew Mitchell, Nobel Zhou, Alec Waters, Oliver Marchus, Whitney Petty, Faith Bender, Conner Nuss, Carter Nuss, Kiersten Sprague, Andrew Blackford, Brock Bey, Zach Pereira, Isaac Edwards, Jay Sherman, Prim Dev and Reece Fannon
Team Co-captain, Nour Hijazi, when asked, what he liked most about Academia, said, “Building a tradition for our team that current and upcoming students will want to be a part of, is really rewarding .”
In addition to winning the county championship, the SHS Academia team recently placed third at a Division 1 level tournament in Solon, which qualified them for the Ohio State Championships again this academic school year.
While delivering the proclamation on behalf of Barhorst, Councilman Joe Ratermann told the students that “your school basks in the glow of your success; the entire community is greatly impressed with your persistence and tenacity to emerge victorious in an intense academic environment; and, your families are extremely proud of your achievements. Congratulations!”
In the county competition, Russia Local Schools finished second with Botkins Local School finishing third.
Sidney finished the year with 271 points; Russia, 214 points; Botkins, 201 points; Lehman, 192 points; Fort Loramie, 187 points; Anna, 178 points; Houston, 139 points; Jackson Center, 117 points; and Fairlawn, 100 points.
In the final round of competition on Oct. 24, Fort Loramie, Sidney and Lehman placed first at their respective sites. At Jackson Center, Fort Loramie won with 35 points. Jackson Center finished second with 27 points and Houston scored 21 points.
At Fairlawn, Lehman won with 42 points. Anna finished second with 35 points and Fairlawn had 18 points. At Botkins, Sidney won with 49 points, Russia had 45 points and Botkins scored 37 points.
During the Oct. 17 competition, Botkins, Sidney and Fort Loramie won their matches.
At Jackson Center, Botkins won with 43 points. Lehman scored 37 points and Jackson Center had 22 points.
At Fairlawn, Sidney won with 51 points and Houston finished second with 34 points. Fairlawn scored 21 points.
At Russia, Fort Loramie scored 39 points. Russia finished a close second with 37 points and Anna had 30 points.