Altamont school's scholar bowl team wins national title

The Altamont School, tucked away atop Red Mountain, is well known for its academic excellence. It also has won state sports championships.

Now, a national championship can be added to the list. An Altamont team won the National Academic Championship!

More than 250 teams competing at all levels at all three legs of the N.A.C. this year. In the junior varsity level, Altamont School was the best of the best.

Going undefeated during the competition.

"Its another national championship brought to Alabama, which I think is really special, we don't just win them for football," Buck Crowe, teacher at the Altamont School, and coach of the Altamont national honors team say.

Crowe says these bright young minds have the hearts of champions. 'These guys are all here because they want to be here, they come in at seven in the morning before school and we will have practices, really everyday," says Crowe.That work ethic propelled the Altamont JV team to the third annual National Academic Championship. Pitting the team against tough competition and even tougher questions. "You'll answer questions on anything from calculus to cartography, it really can be anything," Crowe says.During the tournament, Altamont's team competed in the New Orleans leg, went undefeated among the 18 JV teams and captured the national championship.

While the school has won several local and regional academic competitions. Students and faculty say this raises the bar even higher.

The JV team includes four students. Elizabeth Ann Brown, Leon Dure, Jonathan Hurowitz and Fletcher Hare.

For Dure, the pressure of winning, added more fuel to the competitive fire. Dure says, "You learn to power through those (tough situations), it's the anticipation of wondering whether you will win the next round or not, whether you'll make it to the finals or semi finals."For Hare, the best part of winning was growing closer to his teammates. "I really bonded closer to these people through this great experience. The vast scope of knowledge that scholar bowls requires, everyone just fit like cogs in a whole," said Hare.Buck Crowe coaches the teams with his wife Catherine. She promises more wins in the future. "We have young teams, coming up through the ranks, just learning more and more every year and hopefully we will be able to have a discussion about a national championship next year too," says Crowe.

Other Alabama teams attending the tournament this year included Gadsden City High School, Phillips Academy in Birmingham, and Bayside in Mobile.