Academic Team Wins It All

ST. MARYS — The Memorial High School Scholastic Bowl Team came in first place in the TV44 Quiz Bowl Tournament that took place this week in Elida.

The team’s adviser, Chad Doll, said this team was destined for success after struggling last season.

“We’ve been very strong in practice this year already,” Doll said. “Two years ago, we had a very senior-heavy team. So last year we were young. We took a few lumps early, but we grew a lot through the season last year. By the spring last year we had finished runner-up in a couple of tournaments, we’d won some very close matches.”

Scholastic bowl is a Jeopardy-type academic team competition where schools compete to answer an array of questions on any subject ranging from history and literature to math and sports trivia. Doll practices with the team three times a week from a huge stack of practice questions and materials. Team members also have the option of practicing on their own.

“You feel pretty good,” Doll said of the team’s win. “I’m always happy for the players. They put in a lot of time. They do work hard at it like a lot of sports or athletes, they put in a lot of time and it’s important to them so you’re happy that they won. You feel good that hopefully you provided them the right kind of guidance to reach those goals. It’s a great stress-reliever on the coach then, too.”

TJ Wirth, the team’s senior captain, said the nerves are the hardest thing about competing.

Teams sit at tables placed in rows with an announcer reading the questions aloud, and contestants are asked to look into a television when giving their answers.

One of the questions asked during the tournament Wirth said, was “What southwest Pacific island saw a lot of heavy battles during World War II?” The answer was Guadalcanal. When scores were announced at the end, St. Marys had won by several hundred points.

“There’s a lot of words to use, and I’d say elated...knowing that all the work paid off and (you) can get over those nerves and just be excited,” Wirth said of the win.

Wirth said he hopes to keep the winning streak going for the rest of the season. The team has upcoming competitions in January and February.

“It’s always hard when you start off well because then you want to match as well as you have been,” Wirth said. “And it seems like any defeat is that much more disappointing after a big win.”