All Hallows wins Cablevision Challenge

The Bronx champions of Cablevision’s The Challenge, a group of seniors from All Hallows High School (above), pose in their school’s library with the trophy they won. - Photo courtesy of All Hallows High School

One Bronx high school bested 14 others in Cablevision’s The Challenge, dominating every opponent it faced in the academic quiz show designed to test students’ knowledge.

The school battled against the Yeshiva of Flatbush at the Brooklyn/Bronx finals, and while they were finally defeated, All Hallows nevertheless has the distinct honor of being the Bronx champions.

 “These teams are the best of the best of this year’s season of The Challenge,” said Trent Anderson, Cablevison’s Vice-President for Education about All Hallows and their cross-town rival.

Representing All Hallows during the program is team captain Christopher Hernandez, Jose Caceres, Blake LeGrand, Jose Tejeda, and alternate Marco Cruz.

The team’s academic advisor was Matthew Gaynord, who had nothing but positive things to say about the group of honors students he coached for months.

 All five Challenge champions, who were seniors at All Hallows, graduated on Saturday, June 7.  Hernandez, the team captain, received a scholarship to the Ivy League university. 

“They are a phenomenal group of kids,” Gaynord stated. “I am already working with next year’s Challenge kids. We are definitely in it to win it in 2009.”  

Gaynord said the school was picked in a drawing of 16 lucky Bronx high schools that would be competing in next year’s Challenge, and he is already interviewing juniors before and after school to put together a winning team.

 “The most challenging aspect was not knowing what the categories would be. I remember we got “New Jersey” as a category, and I was wondering who had read up on the state – how do you prepare for everything?” Gaynord noted.

When asked if there was any area that needs improvement next year, Gaynord said timing.

“In the last show against Brooklyn, they beat us on timing. We knew the answers, but they were so fast,” Gaynord explained. “Timing is 90% of the game.”

For the first time in its 11-year history, The Challenge included schools and students from the Bronx, as well as Westchester/Hudson Valley and Brooklyn, which competed against schools from all around the tri-state area.

The match between All Hallows and their Brooklyn rival can be seen anytime on Cablevision’s video on demand, located on iO TV channel 612.

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