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The Rambler

The Rambler

The Rambler

Awards & Recognition

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: First Place (Daniel Anthony, Opinion Category); Fifth Place (Brendan Jubulis, Sports)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)
Student Keystone Press Awards Honorable Mention (Website)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

Rambler Bracket Challenges breeds friendly competition among Prep’s bracketologists

Matt Hubert

The Rambler’s Bracket Challenges saw a record number of entrants this year. It was a great event, and it was something the whole school could compete in. There were two different brackets participants could have filled out, one for the men’s and women’s brackets. This was the first year that the bracket challenge introduced a women’s bracket. The Rambler’s Men’s Bracket Challenge has been going on since 2013 when Journalism teacher and adviser of The Rambler Mr. Hubert first launched it.

“Back when I was a student at Prep, the first Thursday and Friday of March Madness always created a buzz in the hallways as students scrambled to find a teacher generous enough to put the games on TV,” Mr. Hubert said. “So, when I was hired at Prep and became the Journalism teacher, I wanted to find a way to capitalize on that excitement.”

March is often a challenging time in school, as students and teachers alike hit a wall between Christmas and spring breaks. The Rambler Bracket Challenge is one fun way to get everyone talking about one of the most fun events of the year. The annual bracket contest has run every year except 2020 when COVID canceled March Madness, and is open to current Prep students, faculty, staff, and administration. Even Cathedral Prep President Mr. Kevin Smith entered brackets into this year’s contest.

It is a great way for the school to engage in friendly competition in the school environment. This year the contest had 73 participants, including 49 who entered both a men’s and a women’s bracket.

The winner of the men’s bracket was sophomore Kayley McCall with a score of 1,470 points. The winner of the women’s bracket was social studies teacher Mr. Parsons with a score of 1,630 points. The winner of both brackets combined was assistant athletic director Mr. Ek with the score of 2,760. Each of the three winners earned a $25 Amazon gift card.

Mr. Ek explained how great of a watch the tournament was and how much buzz was around the women’s NCAA tournament this year. He also said how exciting it was to watch as well as how surprised he was by how dominant UConn was.

Mr. Ek was excited when he found out he won the combined bracket total.

“I thought I was doing pretty well overall,” he said. “I just didn’t know if it would be enough. I kind of forgot that there was a combined contest as well.”

Mr. Parsons explained that he was keeping up with the tournament following along with Caitlin Clark and seeing if she could lead an upset against the powerhouse of South Carolina. He was thrilled when he found out he won.

“It felt awesome,” he said. “I won the men’s bracket challenge the first time we ever did it for The Rambler, so it was exciting to [also] win the first time we ever did one for the women’s tournament. I am really glad we did the tournament this year. It was a lot of fun. I have a reputation as a bracketologist to keep up!”

The success of the contests makes it likely both the men’s and women’s brackets will be a tradition for years to come, which makes Mr. Hubert very happy.

“March Madness has always been like a holiday in my household,” Mr. Hubert said. “Adding the women’s bracket was probably long overdue, but it’s better late than never. Adding a women’s bracket contest means more basketball to enjoy, more brackets to fill out, and more fun for everyone.”

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