Week six of FCPS’s Academic Team season was a good argument for the existence of the league. Three evenly skilled teams played three excellent matches showing high school students’ ability to learn and think under pressure.

The first match featured a first in the 39-year history of the sport in Frederick County, with four teams playing together instead of the typical three. Quick starts from Catoctin and Tuscarora gave them the early lead until round four. Oakdale buzzed in seen times in the specialty round of ’90s music, but got three wrong. They had won the round, but the Bears still trailed Catoctin and Tuscarora. In the final round, Oakdale took off to win running away. Oakdale High 13; Catoctin High 9; Tuscarora High 7; and Gov. Thomas Johnson High 4.

The second match was even tighter than the first, with Linganore High jumping out to lead in the surprise topic of time and space. Urbana High squeezed out a small lead in an excellently played third round. It was the only perfect math round in the county this season — 10 questions, 10 correct answers. Urbana took the lead for good with a tremendous fourth round, answering seven questions on ‘90s music, only missing one. The Middletown High Knights and the Linganore Lancers pushed hard in the last round, both buzzing seven times, but Urbana kept its cool and walked away with the win. Urbana 20; Linganore 18; and Middletown 15.

The teams saved the best for last with a match that repeated the back-and-forth play of the second match of the season when these same teams met. Brunswick High jumped out to the early lead on the surprise topic of famous firsts. No surprise that Frederick High’s excellent math team took round three to creep closer, and the Frederick Cadets also won round four to tie Brunswick High for the lead. Walkersville High, trailing the whole match, needed a strong finish and they got it from their round five team, buzzing in nine times, and getting eight correct to squeak out the narrow win. Walkersvile 16; Frederick 14; and Brunswick 13.

First place in the league will come down to Friday, the end of the regular season. Teams will play a one-night playoff final for the Tournament Championship. The specialty category is the geography of Islamic countries.

Matches begin at 6 p.m. in the Frederick High School auditorium, 650 Carroll Parkway, Frederick, and are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit www.fcps.org/academics/academic-tournament.

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