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'We are excited to make Mrs. Walley proud'

Zoe Greszler • Updated Feb 14, 2018 at 9:49 PM

There were cheers, cupcakes, flowers and maybe even a few tears Wednesday as Edison High School once again broke the record for consecutive championship titles in the Firelands Challenge.

Wednesday made six years in a row the Chargers have walked away with the title, and this year they got to do so by holding up six fingers in front of the whole school as it was Edison’s turn to host the final of three matches.

The team of just five players ended the match by adding 48 points to its championship total for 150 points overall. Huron High School came in second place for the match with 35 points, giving it 107 points. St. Paul earned 30, ending the three rounds with 105 points.

The Flyers are looking at an appeal of a government question, which could adjust the team’s score just enough to push them into second place. That appeal, and any others that may come up, will be reviewed over the next few days.

The Chargers will remain the winners either way, creating history after they broke the record for most consecutive championships last year with five, and then again this year. While there was a significant gap in the points, the match was not an easy one. 

Each team missed at least three of its regular category questions. None of the teams were able to answer the questions in world history or physical sciences. However, Edison stole points after Huron incorrectly answered its world history question; Edison correctly identified the description of Articles of Schwabach — a document written by Martin Luther in 1529.

Teams also were quizzed on their knowledge of classical paintings, trigonometry, the book “to Kill a Mockingbird,” current events, confrontations during the Vietnam War involving the U.S. and more. 

For Edison, it was more than bringing home the plaque and title. It was paying homepage to the person who got them there — team adviser Shirley Wallrabenstein

“We can breathe a sigh of relief,” Edison team captain Shea Smith said. “We are excited to make Mrs. Walley proud. It’s not even about winning. Just to make her proud and our school proud, too — really, that’s what we wanted.

“Mrs. Walley is the person behind all of this,” Smith said when asked about the secret to winning. “She makes all of this happen and just try our best for her. She deserves it.” 

After the win, the team presented Wallrabenstein with flowers, a letter from the team and a pink box with the number “6” glued all over and a ribbon on top. Her eyes started to well with tears as she unwrapped the gift, revealing cupcakes and other treats. 

“The win was all them,” the adviser said. “They put all the hard work into it and … they worked very hard. These five kids, they’re wonderful. I can’t come up with all the adjectives to describe them. They’re such a good group and I wish I could keep them all here another year.”

For Wallrabenstein, her drive to win is her students and her former co-adviser, her husband, she said.

“He set the tradition before I came on board,” she said. “I want to live up to his tradition and those are big shoes to fill. He’s still very much a big part of this team.”

Wallrabenstein said she became excited as Edison captured its sixth title, adding she couldn’t believe they won it.

“And seven is a nice prime number,” she said with a laugh. “That adds a lot of pressure, though.”

The Chargers will lose its three seniors this year — Smith, James hill and Gavin Schaeffer, leaving just two players to continue on.

“It just puts a lot more pressure on us for next year,” returning junior Morgan Otto agreed with a laugh. “Like who’s going to be the ones to mess it up?”

Returning junior Isabel Chasney agreed, but added she has faith in next year’s team.

“Now we just have to recruit more people to come on the team,” she said.

St. Paul, while disappointed, focused on the highlights of the year.

“I think the season over all went well,” team co-captain Mackenzie Smith said. “I think we did better than last year.”

Moving forward, Smith and co-captain Joseph Wise will be graduating and leaving the team, but adviser Jennifer Thobe said the continuing team will begin preparing a little earlier this year to become better prepared for the new season ahead. 

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