AGazine, January 2020

The Online Magazine of the Academic Games Leagues of America

A Great Loss Calendar of Events Down Memory Lane Past AGazines


A Great Loss

AGLOA lost a former Executive Board and Tournament Council member, member of the Academic Games Hall of Fame, and someone who was second to none in his love of Academic Games when Steve Wright passed away December 17, 2019 at age 54 after a courageous battle with esophageal cancer.

Here’s part of Steve’s obituary that appeared in the Detroit News:

“Steve’s passion was teaching Academic Games for the last 35 years. Steve was a member of the Coaches Hall of Fame of the Academic Games Leagues of America and earned coaching awards from both AGLOA and the Michigan Leagues of Academic Games. He was the winningest coach in AGLOA history and was the only coach in history to have national championship teams in four separate age divisions. His teams from Detroit, Chicago, and Utica earned dozens of state and national championships in math, social studies and language arts games. He was an inspiration to hundreds of students, many of whom have become AGLOA coaches.”

Rod Beard, AGLOA Executive Director, wrote these personal recollections.

I first met Steve Wright in 1986 when I was in seventh grade. By that time, I already had won multiple national championships at Bates Academy in Detroit on one of the best teams in Academic Games history. Steve had the unmitigated gall to tell me that he could make me better.

That’s where our working relationship began — when he began coaching me and helping me become a better player. What he did over the next 30-plus years helped me become a better person as well.

Steve had a way of doing that almost all the time — of making people better, making situations better and finding solutions. He was a natural problem solver and a tireless worker who impacted hundreds of students first at Detroit Renaissance, then in Chicago and finally in Utica at St. Lawrence. Over the course of 30-plus years, Steve blended his life and family with Academic Games as a player, coach, judge, administrator, mentor, board member, lawyer, friend, father and husband.

As a coach, Steve’s teams didn’t lose very often. He always made sure they were prepared and even when they weren’t, he used that as motivation to be ready for the next opportunity. As an administrator, he was dogged and innovative, looking for the best solution, weighing many different points of view. As a friend, he was always willing to take time to laugh and reminisce, knowing that the time we had together at local state and national tournaments was precious — but sleep was secondary to fellowship.

It’s still surreal to use the past tense “was” in referring to Steve. It still feels like he’ll call one day soon with a question about LinguiSHTIK or to provide some updates on AGLOA business. His voice and his laugh still are so vivid. His work ethic and motivation to do what’s best were his hallmarks. His commitment to excellence and how much he made those around him better are his lasting legacy.

In recent years, the Academic Games family has lost a trio of legends: Steve, Larry Liss and Layman Allen. It’s important to recognize their contributions and impact on the wonderful activity that we enjoy each year — and that we start making a difference and walking in their footprints ourselves.


Calendar of Events

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Down Memory Lane: LinguiSHTIK 1990-91

Here’s the list of ACCEPTABLE GENERAL DEMANDS for LinguiSHTIK for 1990-91.

  1. (COLOR WILD) A Color (e.g. yellow) is wild in this shake. In the word to be formed, cubes of this color may represent a single letter more than once, or it may represent different letters. For instance, one wild cube may stand for "G" and another wild cube for "E" in the same shake. ONLY ONE COLOR MAY BE WILD IN A SHAKE.
  2. (MUST CONTAIN) The word must contain a certain letter (e.g. "T"). Only one letter may be demanded in a shake.
  3. (MUST NOT CONTAIN) The word must not contain a certain letter. Only one letter may be forbidden in a shake.
  4. (LETTER TRANSFER) All occurences of a certain letter become another letter. For instance, all "p’s" are "x’s." In this case "p’s" are entirely eliminated from the shake. Even a wild cube designated as a "p" becomes an "x." Only one letter transfer is allowed in a shake.
  5. (NUMBER OF LETTERS) The word must contain an exact number of letters (e.g. exactly six letters). No less than four and no more than ten letters may be demanded.
  6. (DOUBLE VOWEL OR CONSONANT) The word must contain a double vowel or a double consonant. If this demand is made, the word must contain two consecutive vowels, or consonants, of the SAME LETTER (e.g., two consecutive "o’s").

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