Academic challenge teams from Put-in-Bay Local School proved to be small but mighty in a recent competition.
On Thursday teams from Put-in-Bay, Danbury, Port Clinton and Oak Harbor participated in the Ottawa County Academic Challenge at Firelands College campus of Bowling Green State University.
The seventh-grade and eighth-grade teams from Put-in-Bay each won first place and are preparing to battle the top teams from Huron County on March 24, according to enrichment coordinator and coach Linda Rence.
The fifth-grade team took second place in its category, with only three members competing. Those three members also make up the entire fifth-grade class at the Put-in-Bay school.
"All of the schools have been practicing probably from the beginning of the year," Rence said. "We have some very strong players, very intelligent players and this group of kids, they have such a close relationship because their grades are so small compared to the other schools on the mainland."
The close relationships between the island school students strengthens the teams, the coordinator said.
The entire seventh-grade class comprises that team, and nearly all the eighth-grade class members compete, according to Put-in-Bay superintendent Steve Poe.
He said some of the competing schools have around 100 students in each grade.
"The people that went and attended, they were all kind of surprised and shocked and very complimentary," Poe said.
He said the district is very proud of the students, and he credited the teaching staff in part for the success.
Casey Pippert-Ladd, Cody Porche, Madeline Pugh, Zoly Urge, Victoria Wertenbach and Arther Wolf are on the seventh-grade team and Wyatt Auger, Molly Domer, Riley Drake, Karina Kowalski and Shawn Seaberg are on the eighth-grade team.
Put-in-Bay is a popular vacation spot just 2 miles offshore of mainland Northwest Ohio in Lake Erie. While "Put-in-Bay" is technically the name of the village on South Bass Island, the name commonly is inadvertently used to refer to the entire island. A summer resort since the mid-1800's, the village can be considered the hub of tourism among the Lake Erie Islands, with its numerous taverns, wineries, restaurants, waterfront condos, rental homes, and hotels.