Scholars’ Bowl Prepares for State

For many students, extracurriculars are a break from the academic tests of school. Students use extracurriculars to test their athletic ability or show off their musical talents. However, one group of students uses their free time to train themselves academically: Scholars’ Bowl.

The Scholars’ Bowl team is coached by math teacher Jessica Booth and consists of sophomores Sterling Hollond and Emily Tady, juniors Alyssa Manning, Tristan McGehee, Simon Garcia, Katie Glezen, Colton Lennard, and Faith Leonard, and seniors Alex Teeters and Ashleigh Kelly. Team members practice for around 30 minutes every week and compete at roughly one meet per week.

“[During practice, we] answer practice questions, [and] we go through practice rounds as if it was a meet,” said Teeters.

The team members simulate the experience of a meet to train their speed and knowledge.

“Ms. Booth asks us questions, and we act like we’re in a round,” said Manning.

Random trivia isn’t always just random trivia. You can use it for something.”

— Emily Tady

These questions test competitors’ knowledge in foreign language, health & science, social sciences, math, language arts, and fine arts. Certain tournaments include different categories – for example, the regionals meet featured a category called ‘Year in Review,’ asking questions about current events from 2016.

Two sample questions from this year’s competitions are “What disease affects the growth of the brain in infants and is connected with Zika virus?” and “In 2016, a dog was trained to sniff out the American foul brood disease, which affects what insect?” The answers? Microcephaly and bees.

It’s this kind of obscure knowledge that Scholars’ Bowl members spend practices and free time researching and drilling.

“Before the meet sometimes, I’ll just look up random questions,” Tady said.

During competition, members compete on both knowledge and speed.

“Whoever answers first and correctly [wins the points],” Hollond said.

Each team member has their own strengths and weaknesses. Categories that are impossible for some students seem incredibly easy to others, and vice versa. For example, Teeters and McGehee cite language arts as the most difficult category for them, while Kelly considers it her best. By having members who specialize in different categories, the team can more effectively answer the range of questions they are given.

I’ve learned to be more confident with my answers.”

— Tristan McGehee

Throughout the season, the knowledge of the team continues to evolve and grow.

“When you hear a question that you don’t know and then they say the answer, you learn what that is, so you know how to answer the same question later,” Teeters said.

The students also hone their answering skills.

“I’ve learned to be more confident with my answers. You have to answer quickly and be confident,” McGehee said.

In addition to preparing, the Scholars’ Bowl team also has a drive to win.

“[I like] beating the other team, and being the fastest one to answer,” Tady said.

The preparation and motivation that the Scholars’ Bowl team puts in has paid off. On Feb. 2, the team took second at regionals in Wamego, qualifying them for state. State will take place on Feb. 11 in Winfield.

The Scholars’ Bowl journey to state can be summed up eloquently by Tady.

“Random trivia isn’t always just random trivia. You can use it for something.”