The advancement of these teams to State Finals marks a milestone for Scholars Academy-- for the first time in Scholars history, all Odyssey of the Mind teams (seven this year) are advancing to State Finals.
“These two veteran high school teams took us on a roller coaster of emotion,” said Coach Kimsey Hodge. “From a top-notch performance to a near-disaster, both teams had us on the edge of our seats. But, in the end, they both pulled it out.”
Jack Atkinson, Jala Walker, Sarah Myhre, Jeremy Cooper, Logan St. Ives, Lilith Edwards, and Abi Mims took home a second place overall in the Classics problem. They also scored first in the quick-thinking Spontaneous problem for their problem and division.
In this problem, “It’s Time, Omer,” the team had to time-travel to the past to inspire classical artists and recreate their artworks. The team’s recreation of Dasoja of Balligrama’s Standing Vishnu as Keshava, made from cardboard and other packaging materials, was a creative highlight of their solution.
“For seven years, I’ve loved the entire OM process. Every competition I’ve gone to has something new to teach me and my team,” said senior Jack Atkinson.
In the performance-based problem, team members Mathew Whetsell, Bo Miller, Matthew Cline, Erin Quick, Alston Stevenson, Holly Rumble, and Jackson Hodge acted through a rocky start to squeeze into state competition with a third-place finish.
Their solution to “Superhero Cliffhanger” involved a sculptured “Monster of Rock” descending from their scenery to do battle with the “Jukebox Hero.” The team put in over 1000 hours of work each to create a technically complicated series of lights and moving parts. After a perfect score for their long-term solution at State in 2016, the team hoped for another flawless performance.
“But our scenery was all higgledy piggledy, and we ended up caddy whompus on the stage,” said sophomore Bo Miller. “It was not the performance we had practiced.”
“I think everyone on our team wants to win at state finals, which is great because it’s what drives us to work so hard on our creation. As our coaches say, ‘If we want to win, we have to have a fire in our belly.’”
The team is reworking their solution to simplify the mechanics of their scenery and rewriting parts of their scripts in hopes for redemption at state competition.
“It’s a sign of true creativity when a team can perform through all the mishaps this team experienced and still come out near the top. We’ve always known this team to be technically and theatrically talented, along with incredibly hard-working, but they showed they also have teamwork and perseverance,” said OM coach and Scholars Academy teacher Katie Chastain.