SIDNEY — The Sidney Academia team is coming off its most successful season ever. Last year the team won its seventh straight Shelby County Academia championship and its second straight GWOC North crown. The team finished as state runner-up in the Ohio Academic Competition State Championships and third place at the NAQT Ohio State Championships; as well as 34th and 29th place finishes in two national tournaments.
Returning players senior Aaron Jensen and junior NourEddine Hijazi will anchor the team this year. Adviser Brett Bickel returns to coach the team after a three-year absence, as former adviser Joe Czurpryn left for a new teaching position last year after leading the team since 2012.
“Coach Czupryn built our team into a state powerhouse in three short years and our goal as a team is to continue that success,” Bickel said. “Aaron and Nour are very strong players and have spent the summer practicing twice a week and writing questions.”
Sidney will need to replace seniors Jack Martin and Alexis Hall if they want to continue competing at a high level.
“Juniors Andrew and Anthony Mitchell will fill the shoes of Martin and Hall, and are very motivated to help this team win,” remarked Bickel.
The Yellow Jackets are expected compete with perennial powerhouses such as Solon, Northmont, Copley, Tipp City, Fisher Catholic, and Olentangy Liberty.
“Our teams goals are to retain the Shelby County and GWOC North titles, win the entire GWOC, and win an OAC regional title, anything short of that would be a disappointment,” states Bickel. “We would like to be the first athletic/academic team in SHS history to win a state team title and with the work and dedication of this team that goal could be realized.”
Other team members include Andrew Blackford (sophomore), Oliver Marchus (freshman), Troy Oltman (sophomore), Harley Rose (junior), and Nobel Zhou (8th grade). More members are expected to join after the fall marching band season ends.
The Shelby County Academia competition will kick off on Sept. 28 with Sidney hosting Fort Loramie and Anna at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Sidney will also host three academic invitational tournaments: the Sidney Fall Tournament on Oct. 24, the Social Studies Shootout on Jan. 23, and the Yellow Jacket Invitational on March 5. Interested teams should contact Brett Bickel at firstname.lastname@example.org.