(Posted March 8, 2021)
In the last 12 months, London High School students have become used to missing out on many traditional activities due to COVID-19 restrictions. For the London Quick Recall team, this meant cancellations of Central Buckeye Conference matches and participation in the “In The Know’’ tournament hosted by WOSU.
But in mid-September, Dr. Mark Lorsen, longtime director of the Quad County League, contacted London’s coaches, Maureen Duncan and Tim Coudret, about the possibility of playing a virtual season.
“Dr. Lorsen thought that he might have found a way for us to have a season and asked if we were still interested in playing,” Coudret said. “Of course, we jumped on this.”
The majority of teams in the league participated and began playing weekly matches in November. There were many rescheduled matches, as the diverse schedules and technology requirements sometimes hindered a team’s ability to assemble. Despite the uncertainty, the London Academic Warriors came out rolling. They swept through the regular season with an 8-0 record, including victories over Grove City, Marion Harding and Olentangy Orange. This qualified the team for the league championship, a four-team, single-elimination tournament.
In the first round, London played Buckeye Valley, the second-place team from the North Division. London eked out a 220-215, essentially a one-question difference. This led to a finals rematch against Olentangy Orange.
“Orange has really been a roadblock for us the last couple of years,” Coudret said. “They knocked us out in the semi-finals of the league tournament last year, then they defeated us in the round of 16 of the In The Know tournament. They have definitely been tough on us.”
In a back-and-forth championship match, London pulled away in the last minutes to prevail 285-265, completing an undefeated season and earning their first Quad County Championship. Once again, one question could have changed the outcome.
“All it would have taken was for Olentangy to buzz in a millisecond faster than us on a 10-point question and we’re tied or losing,” Coudret said. “So, every contribution mattered.”
This year’s London Academic Warriors included: seniors Bruce Thompson, Noah Brown, Luke Peart and Cameron Tran; juniors Nathan Taylor, Josephine Davis, Hunter Brubaker, Erica Ren, James Rickens, Bethany Jaurez and Emily Leach; and sophomores Patrick Cooney and Olivia Davitt.
“It really was a team effort,” Coudret said. “The kids really pulled through, and Ms. Duncan and I could not be more proud of all of them.”