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Shown in the photograph are: academic advisor David Pontillo; Nicholas Gismondi; Brittany Gouse; Scott Feldman; Edward Demaria (team captain); Sarah Gershon; and Sabrina Layne (team alternate).

All-star student scholars from Oyster Bay High School challenged Wantagh High School in the first round of the 12th season of Cablevision's The Challenge, an academic quiz show designed to test students' knowledge in a Jeopardy-style format. The first round match-up between Oyster Bay High School and Wantagh High School was aired exclusively on News 12 Long Island at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 3. (The Challenge, hosted by News 12 Long Island anchor Scott Feldman, can also be viewed anytime through the convenience of video on demand (VOD) through News 12 Interactive, located on iO TV Channel 612.)

Representing Oyster Bay High School were Edward Demaria (team captain), Sara Gershon, Nicholas Gismondi, Brittany Gouse and Sabrina Layne (team alternate). Their academic advisor was David Pontillo. Oyster Bay won that round 325 to 245. Oyster Bay will now go on to Round Two. That quiz will be taped at the end of February and Round Two will air in March through mid-April.

In its 12th season, The Challenge includes schools and students from the Bronx and Brooklyn, Long Island, the Westchester/Hudson Valley region, New Jersey and Connecticut. More than 900 students representing 184 tri-state area high schools are participating this season. Teams are typically made up of students who are at the top of their class - academic all-stars who compete based on their knowledge of history, arts and literature, math and science.

"We look forward to even more high schools participating in The Challenge this season and we are pleased to give students the opportunity to compete in this popular weekly quiz show and to possibly go on to win the Tri-State Challenge Championship," said Cablevision's vice president of education, Trent Anderson. "This should be an extremely exciting season with some fierce competition, providing a terrific half-hour of television for viewers of all ages. Cablevision, through Power to Learn, is committed to the development and education of students in the tri-state area, and The Challenge gives us the opportunity to do so in a fun and engaging way. We wished Oyster Bay High School and Wantagh High School good luck as they faced off in round one."

As this season of The Challenge progresses, schools will vie each week to continue on in the competition, which ultimately results in the best teams from each region facing off against each other next spring. Regional champions will then compete for the ultimate title, Tri-State Challenge Champion. The winning team in each region will receive $2,500 and go on to compete for $10,000 in the Tri-State Championship. Each student participating in the championship match will receive $500.


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