Academic Games goes to States


Competitors go up to the stage to receive their award. “Since I didn’t get selected for nationals in locals, I wanted to study hard and win states so I could move on to nationals,” Iyer said. Photo by Mabruk Alam

Members of the Academic Games team participated in the 39th Annual Battle at the Beach tournament on Feb. 26.

“We were allowed to play two games and I ended up being first in equations,” Nidhi Begur, eighth grade vocal major said.

The games played at Battle of the Beach were Presidents, Theme, Current Events LinguiSHTIK, Equations. These games were also played at locals at Santaluces High School.

The path to qualification was a process that played over for months on the local level.

“How it works is you play a four-week tournament in the local round, which has around 130 people,” Begur said, “The top 15 get to move onto states, and the top 5 move on to nationals. Just always put your 100 percent in what you do.”

Douglas Battle, the coach of the team, held a practice just for people with states, which the competitors believed helped them with their success.

“Mr.  Battle helped us by teaching us different techniques, and encouraging us to do better,” Shalin Patel, seventh grade communications major said.

Not only did the competitors use Battle’s strategies, they also used their creativity to make up methods of their own.

“I have a family member quiz me, and whatever I get wrong, I would highlight, knowing I’m weaker in that area and I need to study more there,” Begur said.

The event took place at Palm Beach Springs Middle School, where it hosted an in-person tournament, rather than a virtual one in 2021.

“It was refreshing to see the world coming back to how it was in my 6th grade year,” Begur said.

Even though there were many competitors from other schools in Palm Beach County and Martin County, students from Bak took away a majority of awards, having someone place top five in every game.

“I ended up placing fourth in ELA, and I ended up winning first place in Current Events,” Rishi Iyer, seventh grade piano major said.

Since states were over, the Academic Games team turned their head to the bigger monster: Nationals in Knoxville, Tennessee. Players who did not originally qualify for Nationals could use states as a stepping stone for an invite.

“I was ecstatic,” Iyer said, “that I won and felt that my time and hard work I spent studying really paid off.”