Left: From left the members of the winning Lacovia team; Kevron Salmon, Lee San, Shamar Reid and Ajai Robinson at the TVJ studios. Right: From left Percival Henry, Anesia Higgins, Littlelet Scarlet and Andrea Ramator, the members of the Ocho Rios High Schools' Challenge Quiz team - Ricardo Makyn photos
The 38th season of Television Jamaica's Schools' Challenge Quiz competition opened with Lacovia defeating Ocho Rios in the first of the preliminary matches yesterday.
"No unseeded team will kick us out of the competition," Lacovia's coach Fabian Reid said he had planned. Now that they are officially in the first round, he said his team is going back to the beginning as they prepare for the seasoned teams. "We know if we want to progress we will have to face the seeded teams."
The first segment of yesterday's match had highlighted no clear winner as both teams were tied on eight. But Lacovia soon declared their dominance with a 22-14 lead at the end of the speed section. A part of Ocho Rios' failure in this section was that they did not respond quickly enough in the speed section. Lacovia, however, jumped aggressively at each question managing to answer more per minute.
While Ocho Rios answered two of seven questions in their first minute, Lacovia got six from nine. In the second minute Ocho Rios managed only to get one from nine questions, passing on seven of them. This one point came when locusts was accepted as the answer for "the food of John the Baptist".
The most shocking response, or lack thereof, was that to the first line of the National Pledge, which came in the buzzer segment. Lacovia's spelling of asthma, 'a-s-h-m-a' was also another hit.
While Erneil Campbell, Ocho Rios' coach commends his team, he attributes their loss to nervousness. "They were not relaxed and because they were not relaxed a lot of questions they should have answered they were just not answering. They were prepared, they have answered those questions in practise matches and most of the ones they were expected to answer, they have done so in practise matches, just a matter of attention," he said.
Meanwhile, captain Littlelet Scarlet was not as composed as her coach. "We just feel bad," she said. "We prepared a lot yes, but I think we could have done better in this match and [missing] the first line of the National Pledge, 'Oh God'.
On the other side, their opponents, the all-male team of Lacovia, was rejoicing. "The feeling is great, it was our first time live, great experience,"Ajai Robinson, captain and head boy said.
Lacovia High School: Kevron Salmon, Lee San, Shamar Reid, Ajai Robinson (captain)
Ocho Rios High School: Andrea Ramator, Littlelet Scarlet (captain), Anesia Higgins, Percival Henry
Tomorrow's match will feature Morant Bay and Bishop Gibson High.