Scholastic Bowl team wins conference championship
March 20, 2017
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This team won the 2016-2017 Patriot Conference Scholastic Bowl Championship. What is: West Springfield High School.
The West Springfield Scholastic Bowl team, sponsored by Social Studies teacher Stephanie Shimp, clinched the Patriot Conference Championship this past January. The Scholastic Bowl is a competitive team that competes against different schools in general knowledge. Similar to Jeopardy, competitors are asked a series of difficult and randomized questions, and the team with the highest amount of points at the end wins.
Though it sounds fairly straightforward, it is very challenging for the team to prepare because they never know what questions will be asked.
“In practice, we look over the old question sets from previous years, but we can’t really prepare specifically for what they’re [the judges] going to ask because we don’t know,” said senior Captain Valentine Frazier. Other than practicing with the team, some competitors, like Gracie Eassa, watches Jeopardy almost every night with her Dad. Though the Scholastic Bowl Competition is present in many high schools throughout the U.S, its popularity has fallen short at West Springfield.
Junior Caleb Barns, moved from Alabama where his Scholastic Bowl Team had thirty competitors and won the Scholastic Bowl State Championship last year.
“I expected WS to have [a Scholastic Bowl], but I expected it to be bigger…I came from a school from about 450 students and had 30 scholars, and here we have 2200 students and have six,” said Barns.
The season begins in the fall, competitors compete against the eight schools in the Patriot District. This past September, the team appeared on the local television show “It’s Academic” where their competition was televised in front of a live audience. Though the Scholastic Teams regular season record was 4-4, the team went undefeated in the post season tournament defeating Woodson to will the Patriot Conference Championship. This is the first time the team had made it past Districts into Regionals, proving the teams promising future.
The Scholastic Bowl team is open to everyone and members encourage others to join.
“I think the trivia team is really opening and accepting environment for anybody who wanted to join. If someone’s into politics or math or art…there’s a place for them. Smart people come in a lot of different forms and specialties,” said Eassa.