‘Know-it-alls’: ECMS Academics Team sweeps competition

ecms academics team

The eighth grade members of the Academics Team from left to right: Marley Davis, Georgia Johnson, captains Caitlin Laplante and Tuck Cryar. Not pictured: Harrison Blount. The ECMS students placed first in the academics competition earlier in February.

Jennie McKeon | The Sun
Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 01:02 PM.

In his nine years as coach of the Emerald Coast Middle School Academics Team, Chris Hopper hasn't had a team to sweep the annual competition until now.

"This year was a good year," said the seventh grade science teacher. "We have a strong team. The eighth grade team fit together so perfectly. And I expect the younger students to sweep the competition again next year."

The Academics Team is small, but mighty with 12 students ranging from fifth to eighth grade. With the area's strong emphasis on sports, Hopper said he's proud to help lead students with little to no outlets for their academic talents.

"I've coached sports such as football, volleyball and baseball," he said. "But the team I enjoy coaching most is the Academics Team."

While Hopper lends himself to answer questions and help the team with any roadblocks, the students are primarily self-guided.

"I let them coach themselves," he said. "The captains delegate as much authority as possible."

What keeps the team strong is the lack of egos, said eighth grader Marley Davis.

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