The commissioner is peeved that Julian questioned the judges' decision, so he takes away some points. The other team (Maxwell) gets to answer the question instead, until there's a surprise reversal: turns out Julian was right after all, and they get all their points back. Awesome.
After The Souls win regionals, they're hometown heroes. There's a press conference in their honor, and they're even interviewed—but not very well—on the local news.
And now there's a problem. How is everyone going to get to Albany to cheer on the team? If this were a football team, the superintendent would just let the school buses be used. But you can't exactly charge admission to an Academic Bowl, and have you even seen gas prices these days?
He'll let the team and its fans use the buses, but he's sure not going to pay for the gas or the drivers.
So where's the money going to come from?
Old people to the rescue. Remember Century Village, the retirement community where Noah, Ethan, and Nadia all have grandparents? One of the residents comes up with a t-shirt design, which they print, ship north, and sell for a profit.
The design? A noose—just like the noose that the mean principal of the losing school threatened to hang his teacher with.