Lucky Number 7: BICEN 2018 Stampedes States

Ethan Bachand ‘18
EE Co-Managing Editor

In a competitive world, streaks are and will continue to be the pinnacle of a greatness. The concept of staying at the top of one’s game for an extended period of time has always been a difficult challenge, and thus is celebrated and remembered when it occurs.

Yet a streak is measured in two different ways: by longevity and magnitude. The longer a streak runs, the more historic it becomes. The more meaningful and important the victories are, the greater recognition it receives. As rare as streaks are, they become much scarcer when you measure them on both of those accounts. Which is why this year, the Trumbull High School We the People Team (also known as BICEN) cemented its streak as one of the greatest we have ever seen.

On December 18th, BICEN 2018 won its seventh straight state championship. That victory tied the current streak with the longest in Trumbull High School history. Winning 5 out of the 6 units, three of which received perfect scores, the team defeated its rivals Staples and Greenwich by 40 points.

The competition revolves around the study of the United States Constitution, focusing on everything from the philosophers who influenced the founding fathers to current threats to our democratic values. The class is divided into 6 units, each one with a specialized area of expertise. They prepare written responses to three questions, with one of those awaiting them at States. While they may be divided into six different groups, all units share the same team goal: win states.

Preparation began back in September, when the class was assigned their units and began what is known as “the road to States”. For senior Mia McKinney, the journey was both challenging and enjoyable. “What makes research for this so difficult,” McKinney said, “is the fact that the judges could ask any question relating to our opening, leaving the door wide open. We had no idea what would be coming so we had to be prepared for anything and everything.”

That same sentiment was echoed by fellow senior Lawrence Zhang.“The road to states was grueling to say the least. From meeting with unit members outside of school to staying up to date with the news is a lot to handle for a high schooler with a jam-packed schedule,” Zhang said.

Despite how much or how hard the workload was, the team continued to push forward, something that did not go unnoticed by their teacher, Ms. Katie Boland. “One thing that separates this team from others is their collective strive for perfection. This class did not settle with just learning the topics and practicing after school. They wanted to be perfect. They worked endlessly to achieve that goal and they accomplished that on December 18th.”

After three months of hard work and dedication, December 18th finally came. The team traveled to Central Connecticut State University to face eight other teams, including their rivals Staples and Greenwich.

Even though the pressure was on, senior Derek Marble had no doubt on his mind that Trumbull would come home with its 23rd state championship. “Going into States, I was pretty confident that Trumbull High would come out of the competitions as champions,” Marble said, “I knew that the amount of work every student put in over the course of the school year would pay off as soon as I witnessed every unit blow the judges away at our last Night with the Experts. The state competition, was certainly nerve racking, but it was amazing to see the vast amount of constitutional knowledge and application that our class was able to incorporate into their responses.”

After winning the state championship, the team now advances to Nationals, where they will compete in Washington D.C. with the best from around the country. For senior Shane Carley, the anticipation is almost more than he can handle. “BICEN is easily the most challenging and competitive class I’ve ever taken, and the experiences and knowledge I’ve taken from it will stay with me the rest of my life. I’ve never been more excited to represent Trumbull than as a BICEN student heading to the nationals and I know we will be nothing but successful,” Carley said.

Teammate and senior Laura Rosales shared the same idea. “If Nationals brings us even a fraction of the exhilaration and contagious competitiveness of States, we’ve already won,” Rosales said.

For now though, the team will have a well deserved month off before the questions come out for Nationals and the process begins again. They will get to enjoy their win, knowing that they relieved the pressure of continuing the streak. That current string of victories may eventually come to an end, but if BICEN 2018 is a sign for the future of the program, it is safe to say there is no end in sight.

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