Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Benedict College’s Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team Brings Home $10K Scholarship and Emerges with Historic Record at 2016 National Championship Tournament 


The Benedict College Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team competed in the 2016 National Championship Tournament (NCT) in Los Angeles, CA on April 2 - 6, 2016.  The Tiger Scholars’ Round Robin play included an emotional rebound to overcome the overtime, sudden death loss of the first game to Bowie State University with an extremely close final score of 420-430. 

“We were very disappointed in losing the overtime match to Bowie State, but we keep it together and managed to regroup and win the remainder of our Round Robin games” stated 2016 NCT Team Captain, Gary E. Knight, Jr., Physics, Columbia, SC.

Dr. Ronnie Hopkins added, “Being able to come back from such an early loss shows maturity, growth and development of the HCSC Team…something that we had been missing.”

The Tiger record of 4 wins and 1 loss for the Round Robin Games was as follows:

Round 1 Benedict L-420 W-430 Bowie State
Round 2 Benedict W-475 L-430 Albany State
Round 3 Benedict W-475 L-70 Texas College
Round 4 Benedict W-480 L-360 Concordia College
Round 5 Benedict W-540 L-395 Howard University

Breaking an eight-year shut out of the Sweet Sixteen, the Tigers’ overall record of 4 Wins and 1 Loss launched Benedict College into the Sweet Sixteen as Play-Off Qualifiers for the sixth time in the history of Benedict HCASC game play.

“We have really worked hard to create a formula for success that includes both intense study sessions, increased scrimmages with other institutions, and increased campus involvement with faculty and staff. Being a part of the HCASC team is a major sacrifice for our students. They are dedicated and enthusiastic about learning and competing.”  Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, HCASC Coach.

In a faceoff against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Benedict won the Play-Off Match 390 to 180 advancing to the Great, Elite Eight for the first time in Benedict HCASC history as Quarter Finalists. Benedict was defeated in the second Play-Off rounds by North Carolina Central University with the final scores of 530 to 360.
As Quarter Finalists and ranked in the top of 8 of 48 teams, Benedict College brings home a $10,000 scholarship and has earned $87,000 from American Honda since gameplay began in 1991.

“I guess the 10th year is the charm. Having coached the Benedict HCASC Team for 10 years nonconsecutively, it has been a long time coming to finally reach the Great Elite Eight. Now, we need to prepare for the Final Four and eventually become HCASC Champions.”  Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, Coach.

QUOTES from Quarter Finalist Team HCASC 2016 NCT Participants:

“HCASC meant making learning fun again.  I encourage prospective players to embrace the culture of competitive learning.” 2016 NCT Team Captain, Gary E. Knight, Jr., Physics, Columbia, SC.

“To me HCASC means showing your academic ability outside the classroom, along with making ‘Friends for Life,’ the HCASC theme.” 2016 NCT Player, Sammarra Wigfall, Senior, Biology, Columbia, SC.

“The advice that I would give aspiring players is to go along with the hard studying and to become a family with your team. The bonds created help you to become winners.”  2016 NCT Player, Sammarra Wigfall, Senior, Biology, Columbia, SC.

“HCASC was a means for me to represent my school on an academic level. As a senior and veteran HCASC player, the advice I would give to aspiring players would be to study hard and have a lot of fun!” 2016 NCT Player, Gregory N. Terry, Jr., Senior, Psychology, Newport News, VA.

The members of the Benedict Travel Team to 2016 HCASC National Championship Team:

Quarter Finalist Team
Gary E. Knight, Jr., Team Captain, Senior, Physics, Columbia, SC
Sarah Dornik, Sophomore, Biology, Columbia, SC
Gregory Terry, Senior, Psychology, Newport News, VA
Sammarra Wigfall, Senior, Biology, Columbia, SC
Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, Coach
Mrs. Karen McKenzie, Institutional Representative
Dr. Janeen P. Witty, Senior Administrator & President’s Representative

BC-HCASC Varsity Team & Staff:
Yusef Dornik, Senior, Computer Science, Columbia, SC
Hayley Little, Senior, Biology, Naugatuck, CT
Ceasar Neito, Freshman, Biology, Scottsdale, AZ
Christopher Rowe,  Sophomore, Business Administration, North,  SC
Harry Samuel, Jr., Sophomore, Social Work, Columbia, SC
Sierrra Tubs, Sophomore, Chemistry, Detroit, MI
Kendrick Wells, Sophomore, Criminal Justice, Waldorf, MD

Ms. Verna Mayers, Campus Coordinator
Mr. Tony Harris, Driver

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