The Franklin Brain Bowl team scored big at the 2013 Commissionerís Academic Challenge in Orlando on April 18 Ė April 20.

Franklin placed second in Division III during the preliminaries, and was in first place in the Division III semifinals. The scholarly Seahawks squad placed fifth in the finals, but because of the academic abilities shown in the preliminaries and semis, the judges chose Franklin team member junior Malachi Parker, as a member of the 2013 Team Florida. Team Florida consists of six students, one each from the division-winning districts and three chosen from the remaining teams. The six students earning this distinction receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Franklinís team consisted of seniors Morgan Walker and Stephanie Marxsen; juniors Parker, Lenny Ward, Stefan DeVaughn and Laura Gallegos, and our upcoming and promising competitor for next year, observer Macey Hunt.

The Commissioner's Academic Challenge is a highly academic statewide high school tournament inaugurated in 1986. The districts are placed in three divisions based on the fall fulltime enrollment summary provided by the Florida Department of Education. Each team consists of six members (a maximum of four players during each of the three rounds and two alternates) and a coach. A maximum of six teams may compete in one competition round.

This is not a quick response, "Trivial Pursuit" contest. Instead, it is a slower-paced tournament in which players are asked questions from the areas of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, world languages (French and Spanish) and technology. The questions are written by educators from high schools throughout the state. The goal of the tournament is to provide a prestigious academic arena in which Florida's academically talented high school students are recognized.

The Franklin Team would like to recognize and thank the following sponsors for their monetary support, making it possible to participate in the CAC tournament:

El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant, Millender & Sons Seafood, Sportsman Lodge - Bob & Edda Allen, Piggly Wiggly, 2 Alís at the Beach, Carrabelle IGA, Jimmyís Auto, Apalachicola IGA, Suncoast Realty, Paul Marxsen Ė Coach, Ardís Service, Dale Millender Ė Coach, and Sanders and Duncan, P.A.

Franklin Countyís performance at the Academic Challenge followed a strong showing in the March 15-16 Big Bend High School Brain Bowl tournament in Tallahassee. Brain Bowl is an academic competition that requires students to have a deep knowledge base of literature, mathematics, science, history, government, politics, sports, and current events.

Both Franklin County teams made it to the semifinals at this yearís tournament. Because of Franklinís Division A win in 2011, Franklin advanced up a division to play against AA schools such as John Paul II, Leon, North Florida Christian, Wakulla, and Florida High. The Franklin A team went on to the finals against the Wakulla B team. Franklin lost the match with Wakulla to place second in the 2013 Big Bend High School Brain Bowl Division A competition.

For contributions to the Brain Bowl team contact Dale Millender at 670-2800. We will continue our fund raising efforts to offset a balance of $950. The total trip to Orlando cost for seven students and two coaches was $7,169.