The Champlain Valley Union High School’s scholars bowl team defeated a number of national powers to get to the National Championship Tournament, made it through the opening round of matches on Saturday, May 29, but fell in the final day of matches on Sunday.

“On Saturday, our 5-3 opening round record put us in the top 70 teams of the field of 226 from the United States and several other countries,” said the school’s scholars bowl coach John Bennett.

With Saturday’s performance, Champlain Valley became the first team to make it to the second day of the national playoffs, Bennett said. In 2011, the school also made it to the second round.

This Red Hawk scholar’s bowl team also was the third team from the school to make it to the national championships. The 2016 team made it to the national tournament but fell in the first round.

The Red Hawks notched wins over Grady High of Atlanta, which had been ranked in the top 50, and Plano West of Texas, which won the national championship in 2018.

Champlain Valley Union’s Evan McMahan, a junior, ranked in the top 10 percent of all scorers in Saturday’s matches.

Other members of the team were seniors Isaac Krementsov, Patton Wager, Ben Wilson and sophomore Ava Rohrbaugh.

“This was a long, unusual and occasionally grueling season for our team. We played in 24 events with 125 matches over the past eight months,” Bennett said. “A normal in-person season is eight or nine events with 40-45 matches.”

“Our season proves once again that our students can thrive and succeed against the best in academic competition,” Bennett said.

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