For the first time, Walter Johnson High School has won the "It's Academic" Superbowl match, beating out high schools from Ellicott City and Staunton, Va.
The match, which was taped a few weeks ago, will be aired on WRC-4 at 7 p.m. June 25.
A gleaming two-foot-tall silver trophy will belong to Walter Johnson's winning students for one year, be showcased at the school on Rock Spring Drive in Bethesda. The trophy includes the name of every winning school since the Superbowl started in 1972. It is the final match between championship winners from three regions -- the Washington area, Baltimore and central Virginia.
The students -- James Coan, 18, a senior from Kensington; Zach Hommer, 18, a senior from Rockville; and Adam Newman, 17, a junior from Rockville -- came from behind to beat Centennial and Robert E. Lee high schools.
Coan can thank his dinner date on prom night for helping him start his team's success. The night before the Superbowl match, Coan invited Violeta Arciniega to dinner with friends attending the prom.
Arciniega, a junior at Walter Johnson, asked Coan if he knew that Los Angeles had just elected its first Hispanic mayor in modern times.
"In the morning, I went to the newspaper and looked it up," Coan said. "I had memorized all the cabinet positions; I know that they ask about the government."
When host Mac McGarry asked, "In May, Antonio Villaraigosa was elected the first Hispanic mayor of what largest California city?" Coan was the fastest with the correct answer: Los Angeles.
Montgomery County high schools have consistently won the "It's Academic" Washington area championship matches between public and private high schools. This year's title match will be shown on NBC Channel 4 at 10 a.m. June 18.
Walter Johnson competed against James Hubert Blake High School of Silver Spring and Richard Montgomery High School of Rockville, each with a three-member team.
For the championship game, Walter Johnson student Alex Price, 17, a junior from Rockville, was a team member.
At Blake, the team consisted of Roz Wills, 15, of Silver Spring, a sophomore; team captain Clare Boyle, 17, a senior from Silver Spring; and Gilad Barlev, 18, of Silver Spring.
Richard Montgomery's team comprised Chris Higgins, 16, of Silver Spring, a junior; Alex Kaufman, 17, of Rockville, a senior; and Chris Ray, 17, a senior from Rockville.
Walter Johnson won $1,100 for the championship match, while Blake and Richard Montgomery each won $550. All of the money goes directly to the schools.
A sample of the championship questions:
1. After you have eaten, the digestion that takes place is which chemical process: saponification, hydrolysis or oxidation? Answer: Hydrolysis.
2. In October, Baltimore-Washington International Airport will be renamed in honor of what Supreme Court justice, the first African American to be appointed. Answer: Thurgood Marshall.
3. The first U.S. president with his own telephone credit card was what Democrat, who used the card during his 1960 presidential race? Answer: John F. Kennedy.