By From Progress staff reports

The Dawson Springs High School academic team’s finish Saturday at the regional Governor’s Cup competition is one for the record books.

The team finished 2nd overall in the region. Six team members earned medals in individual competition. The quick recall team members finished in 3rd place.

All those achievements are the highest in school history.

Region 2 includes 16 schools, most of which are significantly larger schools than Dawson Springs.

Coach Brandon Godbey said teachers, parents and administrators should be thanked.

“It is their unflinching support that allows one of the smallest schools in the state — around 200 kids — to compete toe to toe with schools ten times their size and even against elite private schools,” Godbey said.

University Heights Academy in Hopkinsville earned the top spot in the region with a score of 29 points. Dawson Springs was 7 points behind. Other schools competing were Madisonville-North Hopkins (21.5 points), Heritage Christian Academy in Hopkinsville (18), Logan County (8), Russellville (6.5), Caldwell County (5.5), Trigg County (5), Hopkins County Central (5), Christian County (2), Muhlenberg County (1.5), Butler County, Crittenden County, Franklin Simpson, Hopkinsville and Livingston Central.

Points are tallied based on how team members perform in individual competitions as well as quick recall and future problem solving.

“In Quick Recall, a team of four students listens to questions read by a moderator and tries to beat the clock, and the opposing team, with a correct response,” according to the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition, a nonprofit educational service agency that hosts the event.

The quick recall team of senior Daniel Garrett, the captain, senior Ethan Vincent, sophomore Gabe Workman, sophomore Addison Whalen, sophomore Sam Adams and senior Andrew Barnhart, beat Christian County in the first round. Madisonville-North Hopkins then beat the Panthers by 3. Up next was a match against Hopkins Central. The Panthers beat the Storm and then Logan County, but fell by 1 point to the University Heights Academy team. The loss kept the team from advancing to the state competition, which is in mid-March in Louisville.

Godbey said the group is the “best team I’ve ever had.” The team missed a trip to state by one question.

Six individuals earned the opportunity to compete against the top high school students in the state.

Daniel finished first place in arts and humanities. Ethan was second in language arts, while senior Emma Thorp was silver in composition. Gabe had a third-place finish in math. Sophomore Avery Buntin and Sam got 4th and 5th, respectively, in arts and humanities.

Daniel said he is “extremely proud” of the team and is especially thankful to have his teammate Ethan. Both are seniors and have been on the academic team together for several years, and both have competed on the state level. The two studied tests from the previous years and built off one another when practicing for quick recall. “I’m proud to see how much we’ve grown,” Daniel said.

The team also won the sportsmanship award, which is voted on by the other participants.

“We appreciate their unbelievable effort and the way they represented us,” Superintendent Lenny Whalen said in a tweet. “We’re tremendously proud of them. They’re a super group in every respect.”

Godbey said Whalen, as well as Principal Todd Marshall and guidance counselor Lori Wooton were “instrumental in fostering a district-wide attitude of high expectations for all kids, and that attitude shows in our results.”

Other school employees helped score, proctor and host Governor’s Cup competitions this academic team season. They are Kati Griffin, Jamie Revell, Joy Cowan, Amber Cavanah and Christina Norris.

Godbey, who serves not only as the coach but a high school teacher and a district instructional coach, said he is especially thankful for the class of 2020 members on the team. They are Daniel Garrett, Ethan Vincent, Zoe Howton, Courtney Bayer, Emma Thorp and Andrew Barnhart.

“These kids are simply amazing,” Godbey said. “The leadership they have provided over the last 4 years has been incredible ...”

Other team members not mentioned are juniors Jackson Creekmur, Cydney Collins, sophomores Trinity Randolph, David Ross Moore, and freshmen Brianna Tossi, E.J. Johnson, Brittany Mabry and Kimberly Burbage.