Academic Games Team Takes 2nd Overall at Nationals

Posted May 6, 2019 / Last updated May 8, 2019

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The senior team earned a second overall sweepstakes finish at the national academic games tournament. Pictured above are coach Kevin Yokum, Milan Mardia, Nicholas Cibilich, Matthew Dowling, Bradley Fugetta, Jacob Schenck, and coach Jordan Holmer.

On April 26, the Academic Games team traveled to Orlando to compete in the national tournament put on by the Academic Games Leagues of America. Jesuit’s senior division team of Matthew Dowling, Bradley Fugetta, Nicholas Cibilich, Jacob Schenck, and Milan Mardia finished in second place in the games of Equations, Presidents, and Current Events. The team’s impressive performance culminated in an overall second place sweepstakes finish. Pre-freshman Wade Rogers also earned a spot in the tournament and competed in the junior division. The annual, four-day tournament hosted over 1,400 players from around the nation.

Matthew Dowling won 1st overall in Presidents and Current Events, and Bradley Fugetta won 1st in Equations. Dowling was also named an Outstanding Senior and earned a spot in the National Academic Games Hall of Fame.

Two Blue Jays won national titles individually. Fugetta won the mathematics competition of Equations, and Dowling won the social studies games Presidents and Current Events. Dowling has had a long history with the game of Presidents. He has come in second place for four years! At the end of the regular tournament round this year, he found himself tied for the lead with another senior from Palm Beach County, Fla. The two then went face to face in a playoff round, but by the end they were still tied! Per the tournament rules the two players were named co-champions, and Dowling finally has a national presidents title.

In addition to Dowling’s two game titles won this year, he was also named an Outstanding Senior. Outstanding Senior Awards are given to those graduating seniors who have enviable competitive records and have given of themselves to promote the spirit of Academic Games in their own schools and leagues. These individuals exhibit the highest qualities of character and sportsmanship. Dowling’s performance at nationals this year has earned himself a spot in the National Academic Games Hall of Fame.

The Academic Games Leagues of America is a non-profit organization which encourages and conducts academic competitions at local and national levels. The local league – the New Orleans Academic Games League – plays five of the seven national games: Equations, ON-SETS, Propaganda, Presidents, and Current Events. Propaganda and Equations are played in the fall; Presidents, Current Events, and ON-SETS in the spring.

A little about each game…
Presidents is a social studies game. Players learn how presidents developed personally and professionally, how they reacted to or changed the times in which they served, what types of families they came from, and how they were affected by the political climate surrounding them. Players also learn about other major events that may have happened during a presidential term. They learn to assimilate all of these different facts into a unified whole for a better understanding of how the United States government has worked in different historical times.
On-Sets is a mathematics game. This game is very valuable in teaching about spatial relationships. The mathematical content of the game is Set Theory. Players learn to create and describe sets of colored objects using Union, Intersection, Set Difference, Set Complement, the Universe, and the Null Set. Players are challenged to use their mathematical knowledge and skills in increasingly creative ways and usually learn more from applying their knowledge in the competition than they do in their normal classroom studies.
Propaganda is a language arts game. Players learn to recognize techniques of persuasion that are often used by advertisers, politicians, editorial writers, and in normal human interaction. Players on each team spend time studying together and exchanging ideas and notes as part of their learning experience. Actual play of the game is simple. A central moderator reads one or more sentences, and the player must decide which – if any – technique of propaganda is used.
Equations is a mathematics game. It is often referred to as The Game of Creative Mathematics.  All grade levels play with the same set of procedural rules, but each division level of competition introduces increasingly more difficult mathematical concepts for the players to use. Players are challenged to use their mathematical knowledge and ability and to develop new skills in progressively more competitive ways. Players usually learn more from applying their knowledge in the competition than they do in their normal classroom studies. Students who compete in Equations are often times more prepared to do well in their classroom math classes than their peers.
Current Events is a social studies game. While preparing for and playing Current Events, players learn about the major political and cultural events of the most recent calendar year. They learn to be aware of what is happening to them, their country, and their world. The knowledge gained from playing Current Events leads to more informed and responsible future citizens.