Annapolis Christian Academy wins Loggerhead Challenge

February 06, 2012

By Terrie Looney

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — Hometown team Annapolis Christian Academy won the 2012 Loggerhead Challenge Regional Competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) on Saturday and advances to the National Finals.

The team of Emily Borchardt, Andrew Hanks, Austin Jones, Colton Garrett and Rylee Williams emerged at the top of the 10-team field after a day of head-to-head matches where the high school students demonstrated their knowledge of marine and coastal science by answering questions from biology, physics, chemistry, geology, geography, mathematics and the social sciences. Annapolis Christian Academy defeated second place finisher Corpus Christi Homeschool Co-op in the final match, earning the right to face the winners of the other 24 NOSB regional competitions in Baltimore April 19-22. The Loggerhead Challenge was held on the campus of Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMUCC).
As the runner-up, the Corpus Christi Homeschool Co-op team of Myca Reed, Ismael Orozco, Jade Redublo, Andrew Sprinkle and Jillian Gomez is an alternate for the NOSB National Finals if Annapolis Christian Academy cannot compete.

The “A” Team from Chaparral Star Academy in Austin finished in third place.

Gregory-Portland High School’s “B” Team was honored with the Dr. Wes Tunnell Sportsmanship Award, which is given to the team judged by competition officials to best embody the spirit of earnest competition while demonstrating exemplary decorum. The award was presented by Tunnell, a widely respected ocean scientist renowned as much for his integrity, honesty and work ethic as he is for his expansive body of research. Tunnell is currently associate director of the Harte Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at TAMUCC.

The rest of the Loggerhead Challenge field comprised Gregory-Portland High School “A” Team, “A” and “B” teams from San Antonio’s James Madison and Theodore Roosevelt High Schools, and Chaparral Star Academy’s “B” Team.

NOSB, hosted in Texas by the Texas Sea Grant College Program, is intended to increase knowledge of the oceans on the part of high school students, their teachers and parents, and to raise the visibility and public understanding of the national investment in ocean-related research. 
“The competition was incredible,” said Terrie Looney, Loggerhead Challenge Regional Coordinator. “These kids exhibited an absolutely amazing grasp of ocean science and proved themselves exemplary scholars and oustanding sportsmen. One team had to win, but all of the teams proved they belonged in this competition.
“We wish Annapolis Christian Academy good luck as they represent the Loggerhead Challenge at the National Finals,” said Looney, who is also the Texas Sea Grant Extension Program’s Coastal and Marine Resources Agent for Jefferson and Chambers counties.”
The theme for the 2012 NOSB regional and national competitions is “A Sea of Change: Development and Evolution.” The theme not only deals with biological evolution, but the adaptations of humans to a changing ocean. For example, technologies are developed and evolve to address our nation’s need for operational forecasting systems and offshore alternative/renewable energy production, and how federal agencies have had to adapt their research and management practices to answer emerging issues such as ocean acidification.
The Loggerhead Challenge, held annually in Corpus Christi, is one of two NOSB regional competitions hosted by Texas Sea Grant each year and it is open to high school teams from south and west Texas. The other competition is the Dolphin Challenge, open to teams from north and east Texas. This year’s Dolphin Challenge, scheduled Saturday, March 3, will be held for the first time on the campus of Texas A&M University at Galveston. Prior Dolphin Challenges were held on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station.
NOSB is managed nationally by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a nonprofit organization representing 94 of the leading public and private ocean research and education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to advance research, education and sound ocean policy.


Annapolis Christian Academy team is (from left) Emily Borchardt, Austin Jones, Coach Sarah Borchardt, Andrew Hanks, Assistant Coach Jackie Hanks, Rylee Williams and Colton Garrett.

Corpus Christi Homeschool Co-op team is (from left) Jillian Gomez, Coach Trish Reed, Andrew Sprinkle, Myca Reed, Ismael Orozco and Jade Redublo.

The Chaparral Star Academy "A" Team is (from left) Coach Kris Barnett, Randi Cannon, Kyle Glass, Addison Kliewer and Brady Romero.

Gregory-Portland High School's "B" team receives the Dr. Wes Tunnell Sportsmanship Award from Tunnell (far right). Team members are (from left) Rayva Minor, Chelsea Temple, Coach Ross Tuxhorn, Amando Guardiola, Damion Cisneros and Megan Holden.


Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.