Miami Union Academy Wins National Math Comptetion

By: Dan Flockhart
Date: 12/21/07
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Miami Union Academy, a K-12 private school located in Miami, Florida, and Austin Radford, an eighth-grade student from Oregon, have won the first-ever national fantasy football contest for students and teachers.

Fortuna, CA (PRWEB) December 18, 2007 -- An Algebra II class from Miami Union Academy has won $1000 for finishing at the top of the rankings in the first-ever national fantasy football contest for students and teachers. The contest awarded $2000 to the top 16 schools, included over 2,000 participants, and was sponsored by Fantasy Sports and Mathematics (www.fantasysportsmath.com).

"I was really shocked that our class won because we started off the game so low in the rankings," teacher Amber Willis remarked. "I didn't know anything about football. I had to study and get help from my dad and brothers, and I learned a lot." Willis added, "What I liked is that this was a family event, because students asked their dads and brothers to help them select their teams. Tom Brady and T.J. Houshmandzadeh seemed to be the most popular players."

I spread out my players so they all wouldn't have a bye in the same week.
Frederick Area High School from Frederick, South Dakota, had two classes that finished in second and third place. Other schools that placed multiple classes in the final rankings were Templeton Middle School (from Sussex, Wisconsin), and Lee Eaton FFC (from Northfield, Ohio).

"The students went crazy when I told them we won - they were screaming and jumping all over the place," Willis said. "One girl told me Ms. Willis, I didn't think fantasy football was going to be a big deal…I had no idea!"

"I was surprised at the depth of conversations my Algebra II students had about fantasy football," Willis said. "They would huddle up at lunch and discuss their starting lineup strategies for the week. Students from other classes would look at our fantasy football bulletin board in the hallway and ask me why they weren't playing. It created a buzz around the school."

Regina Harris, the Principal of Miami Union Academy, stated, "I'm just amazed that we won. We are ecstatic!"

The school plans to use their prize money to purchase graphing calculators.

When asked why she decided to use fantasy football as a teaching tool, Willis replied, "I wanted something that the students could get enthusiastic about. It helped students learn math, especially fractions and formulas. I'm now thinking about fantasy basketball."

Austin Radford - from Walt Morey Middle School in Troutdale, Oregon - finished at the top of the student rankings and was the proud owner of the "Bomb Squad," who edged "Dreyer's Destroyers" from Chantilly High School in Chantilly, Virginia by only one-sixth of a point. Austin's team was led by Tom Brady, LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson, and Randy Moss.

Austin did not realize he had won until he was standing by his locker and a friend said, "Dude, you won fantasy football!" The 13 year-old did not expect to win, because he had been in third place. When asked how he selected his winning team, Austin replied, "I spread out my players so they all wouldn't have a bye in the same week." He added, "Last year I finished in 5th place in my class. It was fun to try something new, and I liked the contest and the competition. I also liked the budgeting that was involved when we selected our players. My dad helped me to pick my players - he's really into sports and does video work for the Trailblazers and college teams."

Three notable schools that placed several students in the top 20 were Sunset Middle School from Brentwood, Tennessee, JS Long Middle School from Dallas, Texas, and Lee Eaton FFC.

The scoring system used in the contest was based on fractions. For example, a touchdown was worth one-fourth, and a field goal was worth one-eighth. Students worked with fractions and decimals to compute points for their teams each week.

Dan Flockhart, who created the contest, stated, "This contest was a blast. Many students and teachers reported that the contest was the most exciting event at their school, and that fantasy football helped students to grasp math concepts." Flockhart added, "I also enjoyed the creative team names: APeterson4Prez, Mighty Marshmellows, Loons of Somewhere, Fumblinas, Clueless Wonders, Friendly Acquatic Excavators, Whoopin' Commin, The Vegas Junkyard Dawgs, Lord of the Beans, Ask Me Laters, Third Grade is Awesome, and Gurlzwhodontnoanythingboutfootballbutrgoin2winanyway."

Final rankings, comments from students and teachers, and surprising survey results can be found at www.fantasysportsmath.com

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