Stapley wins National Academic League championship
The Sabercats achieved the top ranking among more than 140 schools nationwide.
The top scoring team captains led their National Academic League to victory and were named Players of the Year.
Stapley Junior High’s National Academic League has accomplished its greatest dream: winning a national championship! The team pursued the pinnacle through six consecutive years of undefeated teams in city competition and four series of national tournament games.
This year, the Stapley Sabercats achieved the top ranking over more than 140 participating NAL schools in about 25 states. "Cheryl Stone, our parent volunteer coach, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with these remarkable students," said Mary Evans, NAL coach. Evans is the school's instructional specialist, French teacher and World Languages Department chair.
The competition includes four 10-minute rounds of questions and a three-to-five minute presentation. The members of the team doing the presentation are given the specific topic at the beginning of the competition and have 30 minutes to prepare. Questions span 22 subject areas in English, math, science, social studies and current events.
Stapley’s team of 20 was chosen in late September from a field of more than 60 candidates. The team has practiced and played twice a week from October through April. "These dedicated students are indeed a sample of Mesa’s finest," Evans said.
“In our last nationals match, I immediately knew we were going to win,” said Cody Hamilton. “When we did, we all jumped around, hugged everyone in the room and sang ‘We Are the Champions.’ I’m a little sad that it’s all over, but we've done a lot and come so far. It's been an awesome year,” he added.
The national champs are Jaden Bankhead, Jenna Biegel, Briielle Breland, Tyson Burnham, Brent Collier, David Garner, Cody Gibbons, Cody Hamilton, Heston Hamilton, Keith Heiner, Angela Lee, Marlee Mason, Azlynn Morgan, Amanda Pierce, Landon Schofield, Jordan Snell, Blake Stone, Brooke Toller, Lindsey Trendler and Matt Weser.
National Academic League