Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer
PORT ANTONIO, Portland:
It was joy and celebration at Titchfield High School in Portland on Monday as students, teachers and other employees, praised members of the School's Challenge Quiz team, which placed second to Calabar High School.
The charge was led by principal Richard Thompson, who first offered commendations to Calabar for their hard-fought victory over the Portland school, which for the second straight year finished runners-up, having also placed second in 2011.
"Congratulations to Calabar," he said. "Sixty-four schools entered the 2012 Television Jamaica (TVJ) Schools Challenge Quiz, and in the end only two schools were left standing. In my mind, Titchfield is the real winner. We have represented region two very well, and we have done what many schools in Jamaica have failed to do. It was a well-fought game and they are deserving finalists. I also want to congratulate Calabar on their 100th anniversary, along with their success at Boys' Champs. I am a bit concerned, however, as to how aspects of the game were handled, especially during the buzzer section."
Thompson suggested that during the buzzer section there was a difficulty or a technical problem with Titchfield's buzzer. He said, during a particular Spanish question, a member of the team tried to press the buzzer twice, which failed, and then the buzz came in.
Against Kingston College last year, Titchfield finished second in a year when the school also celebrated its 225th anniversary.
The principal added, "The buzz came in and the quiz master acknowledged Calabar, who gave a favourable response, and rightly so. We felt that if we were acknowledged, then we would have gained two points, and the confidence of the team would have skyrocketed, as at that time we were ahead by four points. We believe that technical difficulty affected our team resulting in them not doing as well as they would have. In addition, we also responded to a French question, which was to be translated in English. The answer given by my team was 'stepfather', which was denied. After querying the question, we learned that the French word also means father-in-law and stepfather. But despite our appeal, we were denied and we lost two points."
Meanwhile, the mood in the camp was good as, against the odds, the Schools' Challenge Quiz team, which comprised three fifth formers, Oshane Cochrane, Shackela Harris, and Jamel Bennett, along with sixth-form student, King-Iza Carr, carried the flag for schools not only in region two, but for others across rural Jamaica.
The quiz members all agreed that it was a good competition and that the experience was uplifting.
According to coaches Chase Roberts and Alpha Sparkes, Titchfield will be a force to be reckoned with in next season's TVJ Schools' Challenge Quiz competition.