In a staggering series of high-scoring matches, the Bishop Kelley Academic Bowl team took home the 5A state championship trophy. This marks the fourth consecutive state championship for the team as well as the fifth state win in the past six years.
“What really makes this team special is the bond they have formed,” said Medea Bendel, a BK history teacher who has coached the team since 1999. The Varsity team includes Devin Raine, Joshua Gottes, Angela Brown, Joseph Mellor and Turner Snapp. “Without the contributions of each of our players, we would not be nearly as successful.” English and BKTV teacher Michael Blazek serves as Assistant Coach.
After winning the Area Seeding Tournament with the highest average score, Bishop Kelley proceeded to defeat their next four opponents: Skiatook, Noble, Altus and, for the win, Claremore. In each match, the winner was decided before the start of the fourth quarter; BK’s substantial lead at this point could not be surpassed.
This win will be the last state victory for graduating seniors Devin Raine, Joseph Mellor and Joshua Gottes. Raine, who has been team captain for the past two years, competed in all four of these consecutive state championships.
“I pretty much thought I was a science person,” said Raine when asked how this program developed his academic interests. “I’ve been more exposed to Math and History, as opposed to kids who are just learning them (in the classroom). I’m definitely more of a literature and humanities person now.”
The Bishop Kelley Academic Bowl team heads to New Orleans in May to compete in the first leg of the national competition.