Laurel County School District has another accolade to boast about - the South Laurel Middle School Academic Team won the Quick Recall competition on March 15 and placed fourth overall in the 2021 KAAC Governor's Cup state finals last week.

The Quick Recall team competed in a weekend long competition that pitted them against Tates Creek and Boyle County, with SLMS winning those matches 35 to 20 against Tates Creek and 32 to 16 in the Boyle County matchup.

On Sunday, March 14, the team continued their success with a matchup against J.W. Bates Middle School in Danville, defeating them 34 to 24. Next they paired against St. Joseph School from Crescent Springs, handing them a 31 to 30 loss. Monday completed the finals of the contest, with the SLMS team handing Anchorage Independent School, located just outside Louisville. SLMS then went on to compete for the title against Bondurant, a team from the Frankfort school district, in a one-point victory.

Coach Chris Hibbard said he was well pleased with the performance of SLMS.

"We competed against schools in the northern part of the state and did well," he said. "I think this is the first time that a school from southeastern Kentucky has won this title and I'm very proud of our students."

Hibbard said the face-off with Bondurant is the third time the two schools have vied for the title - the last matchup resulting in SLMS's team falling by only 2 points. This year's pairing went in the Laurel County school's favor, winning by a 1 point margin of 35 to 34.

The awards for overall scores were released during an honors ceremony on Monday, March 24, with SLMS placing fourth overall after the scores from the Written Assessments were added in.

The Laurel County School District administration released a statement and posted a photo of the winning team members with the following comments:

"Congratulations to the SLMS Academic Team for their fourth-place finish in the overall standings at the 2021 KAAC Governor's Cup State Finals! The Quick Recall Team captured the KAAC Governor’s Cup Quick Recall State Championship by one point in a thrilling match against Bondurant Middle School! "

SLMS Academic Team member 8th grader Jamie Buenaventura earned honors in Written Assessment. Buenaventura was named in the Top Ten at the State Finals in three different written assessments, 10th place in General Knowledge, 5th place in Science, and 3rd place in Arts & Humanities. By doing so, Buenaventura became the first SLMS Academic Team Member to place in the top ten in multiple subjects.

Additional team member recognitions in Written Assessment include:

Alex Looney - 11th in the state in Social Studies

Will Wagers - 19th in the state in Social Studies

Connor Warren - 38th in the state in Social Studies

Nikki Shah - 15th in the state in Language Arts and 32nd place in Arts & Humanities

Kadence Whitaker - 19th in the state in Language Arts and 33rd place in Arts & Humanities

Cash England - 46th place in the state in Science

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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