Sunday, April 26, 2009

This Just In: Teams Advancing Through Winners Bracket

Here's how the grid is taking shape!

Team Photos Live!

Check out our handsome state champion teams over here in a Flickr slideshow.

These guys
<--------- over here
are from Washington.

Update: New York Made It!

The train got them here minutes before their match against Missouri, which is currently underway. Phew, that was close!

2009 State Champion Captains and Coaches

New York, Where Are You?

The suspense is killing us: will the team from Saranac Lake High School representing the Empire State LifeSmarts program arrive in time for their first match?

The poor guys got stuck in Chicago last night en route to St. Louis, and we're all crossing our fingers they'll get here in time to face off against the Missouri state champs. Missing the mixer was bad enough! Hurry, you guys!!!

First Day Jitters

It's starting! Teams have been spotted in every corner of the hotel doing some last-minute cramming on LifeSmarts topic areas, reviewing competition format and rules, and getting out some early competition jitters.

In just a little over an hour, the first round of competition will begin. Today's matches are all in the Winners Bracket, where teams will face off in matches of two or three. LifeSmarts is a modified double elimination competition, where teams have two chances to win before they are eliminated. Today is a big day! Matches begin at 11:15 am Central time.

Here's the lineup:

OH vs. NH vs. ND
PA vs. MD vs. CT
RI vs. DE vs. IN
FL vs. NJ vs. NE

VA vs. IL vs. AL
WA vs. WI vs. SC
AZ vs. TN
MN vs. OK

MA vs. CA
MO vs. NY
KY vs. HI
KS vs. TX

Good luck, everybody!

Good Morning from St. Louis

We were too busy getting our grooves on at the kick-off mixer last night (we'll post photos ASAP, promise! We got some great ones!) to post about our Saturday night welcome event. At the Saturday night orientation session, teams gathered for the first time to meet and greet, review some important LifeSmarts ground rules, and show some spirit.

Tom Quinn from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education delivered a great welcome to the teams, recounting the story of the origin of Missouri's "Show Me" nickname. An educator and administrator for some 30 years, Quinn welcomed the state champs and encouraged them to acknowledge that, while LifeSmarts has given them the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed, they still need to work daily on their behavior and attitude, which will ultimately determine their success.

Quinn recalled famous Missourians from Harry S. Truman ("the buck stops here") to Samuel Clemens ("reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated") and related their life stories to LifeSmarts lessons and honored the teens for their hard work on the road to LifeSmarts nationals: "You've shown people! And I congratulate you!"