Success in Scholar Bowl

More stories from Alex Maisenhelder

Phenomenal Pikaard
October 10, 2020

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

This past weekend on December 1, Parkway Central’s Academic Challenge team traveled to Washington, Missouri, for a chance to go to Nationals. It was a good experience for the team as the team made the top 16, with two freshmen.

The tournament opened with a tough loss to Holt’s academic team, a real wake-up call for everyone. But the team took it in stride dominating the next four games, outscoring multiple opponents by over 200 points. Which really had the team’s confidence surging going into the lunch break.

However, after the break, the team ran into some fierce competitors dropping all 3, but still putting up a good fight, only losing 2 of them by a question or two. Overall it was an impressive performance from the team with three people who had never been to Washington’s tournament before.

For the two freshmen, it was there first ever tournament at the high-school level. “It was a lot of fun,” freshman Sam Opinsky said. “It was kind of crazy at first because all of the other people there were crazy smart, but it got easier as the day went on. At the beginning, I was too nervous to buzz in with anything, but eventually, I started to get comfortable and my mind started to clear up.”

In addition to being difficult, the scholar bowl also has a good atmosphere. “People that you get to meet are really cool, and getting to see how it works for the first time,” freshmen Amelia Markwell said. “Felt good to work as a team. It was definitely more challenging as a freshman, because we have not learned as much as the older competitors, so some questions just come easier to them.”

Sadly, the team did not make it into the top 12, which would have qualified them for Nationals. However, there is one more chance to qualify for Nationals, and that is at the WUHSAC tournament on February 16. “Overall we did pretty well at Washington given we did not have our full team,” senior Tony DeVasto said. “The freshmen really grew throughout the tournament, and they looked a lot more comfortable and confident by the end. We also have time to improve before the WUHSAC tournament which is good.”