As the annual Academic Team competition came to a close, Hopatcong landed in last place, but not without many proud achievements. This was the first year since 2004 that Hopatcong High School hosted the competition, inviting eight other schools involved: Lenape Valley, Kittatinny, Wallkill Valley, High Point, Newton, Pope John, Sparta and Jefferson. Hopatcong students involved included ambassadors, students who helped out showing other teams where locations were, and those students who participated in the actual competition itself.
For the first time in eight years, Heather Delbagno, Academic Team’s coach, had to sit out and appoint Michael Landshof the job, while she dealt with administrative duties in the cafeteria such as adding up all of the team’s total points and keeping all of the questions handy and confidential. Delbagno said, “I was torn. My heart really wanted to be with the team, not with the paperwork.”
On the first day of competition, Hopatcong came out with a win against Kittatinny and two losses, one against Lenape Valley and another versus High Point. On the second day of competition, Hopatcong came out with three losses against Jefferson, Pope John and Newton. On the third day of competition, Hopatcong came out with a loss to Wallkill Valley and a defeat over 1st place at the time, Sparta.
At the end of the four longs days of competition, Lenape Valley came out victorious with a win over Sparta, beating the defending champion. While more than half of Hopatcong’s team is seniors, Delbagno said, “It’s always sad to see the seniors go. But not only did they make themselves proud, they made the school proud, as well.”