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Edison wins first round in close, "psychological" match

Zoe Greszler • Updated Mar 3, 2017 at 3:58 PM

SANDUSKY — Do you know which empire’s rulers were named Shaka? What colors are copper II nitrate and aluminum sulfate? Which Marvel superhero has only the power to age slowly, acts as the director of agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and wears an iconic eye patch?

The Firelands Challenge championship kicked off with these and about 50 other questions as Edison, Perkins and St. Paul high schools faced off in their quest for the trophy in a battle of academic wits. Reigning champion Edison took the lead, ending with 60 points, followed by Perkins by four at 56 points and St. Paul with 34.

The first of three championship rounds got off to an exciting start Thursday at Adams Junior High School in Sandusky, which served as St. Paul’s choice of home game location. Each team received the opportunity to answer a question from several categories ranging from President Trump in current events and rulers in world history to biological sciences and reviewing George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”

The match started out close as the Edison and Perkins teams correctly answered nine of 10 regular team category questions. The margin for Edison came with its answers for the two toss-up questions, which helped it to overcome Perkins’ four-point edge in lightning round questions. However, St. Paul struggled in the second half of the match and was only able to answer its team choice question (the Marvel superhero question asked at the beginning, which describes Nick Fury) and two lightning round questions.

The Chargers’ lead doesn’t come as a surprise, since they entered postseason competition having won the last four titles.

“This is definitely one of the most exciting matches I’ve been in,” said Edison team captain Nathan Zettler, 18. “It’s really close. Usually the matches aren’t that close. You can tell Perkins was really well prepared. You tell St. Paul was really well prepared. It’s nice to have everybody know what they’re talking about, is invested in the activities. That makes it a lot of fun.”

The hardest part for the team, which consisted of Zettler, Jacob Grant, Shea Smith and Isabel Chesney at the table, wasn’t the difficulty of the questions but the increased mental state.

“It’s psychological, keeping up with Perkins in the first part of the match,” Zettler said. “The second half went really smoothly. I don’t think we had many issues. We hope to just build on that for the next match.”

“My team did a really good job today,” Edison adviser Shirley Wallrabenstein said. “They did an awesome job. I feel that we have to continue to work. Perkins and St. Paul are both very good teams and we have to continue to work and see what happens. We’ll just keep working on everything. You just can’t let up on anything.”

The second round will take place at 1 p.m. Monday at Edison High School. The team that has the most cumulative points after the three matches will be crowned champions.

If you're still trying to figure out the questions at the outset, Shaka ruled the Zulu empire, copper II nitrate is blue and aluminum sulfate is colorless.

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