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Academic superstars honored

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By The Valley Independent
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It has all the makings of a reality show - fierce competition, the challenge to see who is the quickest thinker and the opportunity to win prize money.

But the Charleroi Academic League doesn't cast off contestants each week as the competition heats up. And at the end of the season, everyone celebrates success.

That's what makes the Charleroi Academic League so special.

The league just wrapped up another successful season and held its 19th awards ceremony at Charleroi Area High School.

Through corporate sponsorship - the league awarded $4,000 in scholarship money.

The academic league matches two teams against each other and students must be the first to "buzz in" to answer the question. Individual student and team scores are tabulated over the season, bringing an added competition to teams and teammates.

This year's scholarship winners are: 1st place, $2,000 scholarship - Jennifer Tharp, Charleroi.

2nd place, $1,000 - Steven Toth, Frazier High School.

3rd place, $500 - Zach James, Washington High School.

4th place, $500 - Emily Martik, California Area High School.

The league also honored Tharp as having the most career points with 750.

The award for most individual points in a single match - 54 - went to Toth.

This year's varsity top scorer was Zach James, Washington High, with 208 points.

Alex Antonio of Beth Center High School was the junior varsity top scorer with 168 points.

Varsity season awards went to Washington High, first; Charleroi Area, second; and Frazier, third.

Junior varsity school winners are: Bentworth, first; Beth-Center, second; and California Area, third.

In addition to the awards ceremony, the highlight of the program was varsity and junior varsity matches comprised of the top scorers from each school.

The varsity top scoring team comprised Tharp, Toth, Samantha Ritzer, Bentworth; Cameron Matesich, Beth-Center; Emily Martik, California; Shannon Guernsey, Chartiers Houston; and Ian Abrahamsen, Monessen.

The junior varsity top scoring team members comprised: Alex Antonio, Beth Center; Austin Chegini, California; Abigail Hancher, Chartiers Houston; Kevin Lemley, Charleroi; James Novobilsky, Frazier; David Chilzer, Monessen; and Andrew Bell, Washington.

The league coordinator is Laura Piecknick, gifted coordinator at Charleroi. League quizmistresses are Amy Nelson and Carolyn Valkanas. Head judge is Harry Lynch.

The league is composed of varsity and junior varsity teams from the Bentworth, Beth-Center, California Area, Charleroi Area, Chartiers-Houston, Frazier, Monessen and Washington school districts.

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