Sanger, Houston schools win 2015 Dolphin Challenge

March 02, 2015

By Cindie Powell

GALVESTON, Texas — Students from Sanger High School in Sanger, Texas, won the 2015 Dolphin Challenge, the northern Texas regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) on Saturday, February 28.

The competition, hosted by the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University, was held on the campus of Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Teams from two Houston schools, The Village School and Langham Creek High School, took second and third place respectively.

Students from Rains High School in Emory, east of Dallas, received the Ralph Rayburn Sportsmanship Award. The award, named for the late Associate Director and Extension Program Leader at Texas Sea Grant, goes to the team judged by competition officials to best embody the spirit of earnest competition while demonstrating exemplary decorum.

“Once again we had an amazing group of students and coaches,” said Terrie Looney, NOSB Regional Coordinator and Texas Sea Grant’s Coastal and Marine Resources Agent for Jefferson and Chambers Counties. “The dedication and knowledge of these teams are outstanding. I am thrilled to see such promise in our future scientists, engineers and maritime workers; it makes hosting the competition a real pleasure.”

Sanger High School’s Team A — Kierstin Bradley, Trent Hopson, Zach Fargo, Jacy Beam and Jaret Gillum, coached by Lori Bradley with assistant coach Kathy Vidourek — defeated 12 other teams for their first first-place showing; they also managed to beat the bad weather in the Dallas area that led to registered teams from the Jack E. Singley Academy in Irving being unable to participate.

Other schools participating were Coppell High School in Coppell, Cypress Woods High School in Cypress, J. Frank Dobie High School in Houston, and the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs, Ark.

The Sanger students will compete in the national NOSB finals in Ocean Springs, Miss., April 23-26, where they will face more than 20 other teams from across the nation, including students from Austin’s Chaparral Star Academy who won the Loggerhead Challenge, the NOSB regional competition for the southern part of the state that is also hosted by Texas Sea Grant.

For the past two years, Texas teams have won the sportsmanship award at the national NOSB competition. In 2013, the honor went to Corpus Christi’s Annapolis Christian Academy, who won the Loggerhead Challenge that year; in 2014, Langham Creek High School, last year’s Dolphin Challenge winner, captured the prize.

NOSB is a quiz bowl-style competition, in which students answer questions in all disciplines of the ocean sciences: biology, chemistry, physics, geology, geography and the social sciences. It is managed nationally by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. NOSB is designed to encourage and support the next generation of marine scientists, policy makers, teachers, explorers, researchers, technicians and informed citizens to be stewards of the ocean. About 2,000 students from more than 300 high schools participate each year.


First Place, Sanger High School, Team A: From left, Jaret Gillum, Jacy Beam, Trent Hopson, Kierstin Bradley, Coach Lori Bradley and Zach Fargo. (High-resolution image.)

Second Place, The Village School, Team A: From left, Alex Liu, Julian Kanaan, Andreas Kiehn, Ryan Quach, Coach Mila Taylor and Assistant Coach Emily Sappington. (High-resolution image.)

Third Place, Langham Creek High School, Team A: From left, Dean Phillips, Jacob McCarty, Amanda Fontenot, Coach Amanda Sebesta, Aleeya Ali and Matthew Harris. (High-resolution image.)

Ralph Rayburn Sportsmanship Award, Raines High School: From left, Robin Holley, Bethany Phillips, Victoria Pierson and Savannah Routon. Not pictured are Coach Jolene Cobb and Assistant Coach Jackie Russell. (High-resolution image.)