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The Academic Team held their annual awards evening on Tuesday, May 16 where coaches Chris Bradley and Jake Thurman honored players for their accomplishments throughout the 2022-23 season.

The Career and MVP Awards were presented to senior and varsity team captain Karl Wang, who has been a member of the UHS Academic Team for the past four years. This season, Karl scored a total of 252 points in league play, setting a new single-season school record. He also set new school records for points scored in a single match (37) and for the highest per game scoring total in a single state tournament. 

During the finals match at this year’s Brownsburg Tournament, Karl clenched the win under pressure by correctly naming “The Glass Menagerie” in the final question. 

“For that drama, plus all the steadiness and knowledge you’ve given the team, thank you, Karl,” said Bradley. 

Sophomore and varsity team member Mikey Cardwell received the Trailblazer Award for his service to the team this season. 

“Mikey was our second leading scorer in league scoring, as well as scoring at the Brownsburg and State Tournaments. He kept meticulous records throughout the season – truly a joy to a statistician’s heart,” said Bradley. 

According to Bradley, this year’s season was “the best season in the 14 years of the Academic Team at University!”

The JV team, comprised of seniors Matthew Alcantara, Saif Khatri, and Peter Ogon, juniors Rishab Prakash and Jayden Seaton, sophomores Emily Ganter and Stacey Xu, and freshmen Doyle Akin and Rishi Paranjape, went undefeated for all five of their regular season and averaged 44.5 points per game in the White River Academic League (WRAL) – the best in the league for the season. The team also had the best record (percentage wins) in 14 years of the team. 

The varsity team achieved an exceptional season with an undefeated WRAL regular season, a victory at the WRAL conference championship and the conference tournament (after being runner-up the past five times), which earned them the title of champions of the Central Division with an average of 83.5 points per game – the highest in school history and #1 in the league!

Additionally, the team also won the Indiana State Quiz Bowl for the second time in school history with a 5-0 record. 

This year’s varsity team, which included senior and team captain Karl Wang, juniors Marie Coutant, Owen Murray, and Steven Zhang, and sophomores Mikey Cardwell and Lukas Fiur, earned the best single season record ever in University history (28-0) with a 1.000 winning percentage.

One of the most memorable highlights from the season was at the Brownsburg Tournament when the team had a “dramatic come-from-behind win on the last question in the final match to defeat Center Grove High School.” The team swept the tournament with a 7-0 record. It was the second year in a row the Blazers won the tournament.

In 14 years, only one team has won the Brownsburg Tournament, the league tournament, the league championship, and the state quiz bowl all in one year – this year’s University High School varsity team!

Dean of Academic Affairs, history teacher, and co-coach Chris Bradley started the team 14 years ago with Beth Vreede. The team evolved from “knowing nothing about the game or what to do,” to building a strong reputation with three Brownsburg Tournament titles, a WRAL Tournament title, three WRAL season championships, two state titles, a national semifinalist title, and a cumulative 278 match victories in the years since. 

“It’s been fun to see the team grow and change over the years, from the leadership of Alex Carson to the era of Monica Chavan and Kevin Bonar to our ‘Fab Four’ of Jack Paganelli, Alex Brinkman, Jay Maturi, and AJ Johnson to Garrett Smith and Daniel Vesper to Natalie Fiur and Jeremy Smart to our current day players,” said Bradley.

“Now, it’s my time to step away from the team. It’s been a great run, but it’s time for me to take a break,” he said. “I’m happy to know that we’ve got a very strong team lined up for next season and that Jake Thurman and new academic team coach Dr. David Vesper will lead them on to continued success!”

Congratulations to our Trailblazers and Academic Team coaches on an outstanding season!