|By Courtney Pomeroy, Frederick News Post, 4/24/2012
Heading to Gallaudet University for the Academic Bowl after having won the competition two years in a row, Maryland School for the Deaf student Ethan Sonnenstrahl felt like there was a target on his back, he said Monday.
But none of the 316 students from 79 other schools across the country hit that target. He and the rest of the MSD Academic Bowl team walked away winners for the third year in a row.
Not only that, but the team did not lose a single match, according to coach Patrick Rosenburg.
The Academic Bowl for Deaf and Hard of Hearing High School Students, a general knowledge quiz competition, was established in 1997. Categories include history and government, literature, science, geography, math, the arts, deaf studies, current events and popular culture.
This year the MSD team consisted of Ethan, 17, a junior; Andrew Biskupiak and Asher Kirschbaum, both 17 and seniors; and Sam Lundquist, 16, a junior. The bowl lasted from April 12 to 16.
"We started practicing in November and we did it two, three times per week," Andrew said in American Sign Language.
His comments and those of the coaches and other team members were translated by an ASL interpreter.
As the competition got closer, the team practiced more often after school and during lunchtime, he said.
The subject matter for the bowl is mostly based on the high school curriculum, Ethan said, but to prepare, he and his teammates spent time quizzing each other, reading, watching "Jeopardy!" and passing on information from the news media.
There was even a question about the popular book series "The Hunger Games," Andrew said, which was convenient because he had just finished reading it.
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