Deaf and hard of hearing academic bowl team competes at region

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Courtesy of Cindy Hartpence

Deaf and hard of hearing academic bowl team competes at region.

Hayeon Choi, Staff Writer

Last weekend, Starr’s Mill’s academic bowl team for the deaf and hard of hearing competed at Mississippi School for the Deaf for their regional competition.

“I found people I can relate to,” junior Addie Metarko said. “I didn’t realize how much sign language I actually knew until I was put in this solely sign language environment.”

At the event, juniors Metarko and Alden Ward and sophomores Jessica Bryant and Grace Forsberg, won four of seven rounds. Although the team did not make it to the nationals, they played in the wildcard round against the Texas School for the Deaf, which determined the last team to qualify for nationals.

Different from the an academic team meet, in each round of the deaf and hard of hearing academic bowl, the students have to write out the answers with correct spelling, punctuation, and tense form in order for the answer to be considered.

“I think [Gallaudet University Academic Bowl] is really wonderful,” deaf and hard of hearing academic bowl coach Cindy Hartpence said. “I’ve had so many students who didn’t feel like they fit in here, but when they went there, they become so comfortable. [They] really embrace being deaf and hard of hearing.”

The competitions are established and hosted by the Gallaudet University Academic Bowl with the goal of encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence, promoting sportsmanship, and providing social opportunities.

The Starr’s Mill deaf and hard of hearing academic team has competed since 2004. This year’s team members were all new to the competition, and the team is already making preparations for next year.

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