Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

July 4, 2014

Verity shines in national championship

Quick recall team places second in event

ASHLAND — Dan Boyer, the coach of the Verity Middle School’s quick recall team, says the bar has been set high for a group of achieving eighth-graders.

The team turned in a runner-up finish in the prestigious Junior National Academic Championship in Washington, D.C., about a month ago.

“They did very well,” Boyer said. “Unfortunately (for Verity) they’re all eighth-graders. It will be quite the task (to replae them). They were all dedicated an hard-working.”

Verity was invited based upon success in academic competition over the course of the year, which included success in the Governor’s Cup competitions (second in the KAAC Regional tournament and making the Elite Eight at the KAAC State Tournament).

The National Academic Association, based in Sandy, Utah, invited 63 teams from across the United States to three separate sites — New Orleans, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

It was an honor to be invited but the Verity team very nearly won the tournament.

“It’s as well as we’ve done in a competition in recent history, at least the 20 years I’ve been doing this,” Boyer said. “It’s hard to get sixth-graders to compete with our current structure they these kids have been together since sixth grade. I imagine they’re going to keep it up. They’ll play JV for the high school next year and by the time they’re seniors, they should be challenging for a state championship.”

Boyer doesn’t mind putting those lofty expectations on the youngsters simply because he knows their work ethic and diversity.

The team consisted of eighth-graders Dawson Cooverf, Wren Jenkins (captain), Nate Rickman, and Zach Stafford. Freshman Hannah DePriest also made the trip with the team.

In the six-game preliminary matvhes, Verity went 5-1, missing a perfect record by a two-question defeated in round six. However, the five victories earned Versity a No. 2 seed in an eight-team, single-elimination playoff on the last day.

Verity defeated Lakeland, Pa., 480-210, setting up a match with local in-state rival Johnson County. The match was dead even at the end of the third quarter and was decided by Verity correctly answering the last two questions for a 370-330 victory.

“That was a big one,” Boyer said. “We’d played them a couple of times during the course of the season and they’d win one and then we’d win one.”

Johnson County Middle School was the Governor’s Cup champion in Quick Recall, Boyer said.

That victory over Johnson County propelled Verity into the championship match against Warren, N.J., a team they had beaten in sudden-death overtime in the preliminary round. However, this time Verity fell behind early and could never catch up.

“We got into such a hole,” Boyer said. “But to the kids’ credit, they never gave up. They kept fighting and made it close. It was disappointing to our kids because they  had beaten them the day before.”

Verity’s outstanding eighth-graders each had their own academic super power — Coovert (reading), Stafford (math), Rickman (science) and Jenkins (arts and humantities). That, Boyer said, made a difference.

“A big key to their success is all of them are readers,” he said. “They all read everything that you put in front of them.”

The format for the Quick Recall was identical to the High-Q television program, he said. In fact, Boyer said Ernie Anderson was one of the moderators.

The group also did some sightseeing around Washington, D.C., before returning home with the runner-up trophy.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

Text Only
Local News
  • Probe of Fairview begins

    Four investigators from the state Office of Education Accountability spent much of Thursday interviewing school officials in a probe of alleged school law violations in the Fairview Independent School District.

    July 31, 2014

  • Grant helps Elliott County High School with $1.7 million geothermal renovation

    Elliott County School District Superintendent Dr. Carl Potter II remembers the night a few years ago when the lights went out in the middle of an Elliott County boys basketball game and interrupted it for some 20 minutes while the lights powered up.

    July 31, 2014

  • Heroin overdose deaths continue to rise

    The Kentucky state legislature passed a sweeping overhaul to its prescription drug law in the summer of 2012 after a flood of overdose deaths, making it significantly harder for people to access dangerous addictive drugs from doctors.

    July 31, 2014

  • Morehead man faces drug charges

    A Morehead man is facing multiple drug charges after taking possession of a suspicious package mailed to his home on Dillon Lane, according to the Kentucky State Police.

    July 31, 2014

  • Highlands’ Artists Market to begin today

    Up-and-coming artists are being offered a rare chance to show and sell their work during the First Friday art walk.

    July 31, 2014

  • Dogonline.jpg 'Educate and entertain'

    A local theater group is shooting for changing the area’s theater scene.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07/31/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    July 31, 2014

  • News in brief, 07/31/14

    About 450 marijuana plants were confiscated during an eradication effort in Lawrence County on Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731facelift1.JPG Painters finishing up work at ACTC

    When Ashland Community and Technical College students return to campus Aug. 18, they will find fresh paint, clean windows and pressure-washed brickwork on the college’s original building on College Drive.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night Moves on tap for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014