HVHS’s Class Act: Scholar’s Bowl team to compete in national quiz
Published 10:11 am Thursday, April 23, 2015
While test questions can make a student’s heart race and their palms sweaty, the Scholar’s Bowl Team at Happy Valley High School enjoy a good quiz so much they have competed their way into a spot at the national tournament.
On Friday morning, the team will leave Happy Valley High and travel to Atlanta for the weekend where they will take part in the National Academic Quiz Tournament.
The team is made up of sophomore Sarah Vance, juniors Noah Lyons and Zach Jefson, and seniors Rosa Ray, Savanah Shelton Shelton and team captain Erin Drinnon. Happy Valley teacher Jessica Keith is the team’s main coach and sponsor while teacher Jennifer Banks serves as the assistant coach and sponsor.
Earlier this school year the team competed at the regional tournament in Oliver Springs where they placed second, earning them a spot at the national competition. Drinnon was the number one overall contestant at the regional tournament, having answered the most questions correctly.
Each member of the team has their own area of trivia expertise to add to the group. Drinnon and Vance specialize in literature, language arts and art history. Lyons takes on the sciences, math and geography. When it comes to history and music, Jefson steps up to the plate. Ray and Shelton focus on what they jokingly call the “trash” category, focusing on pop culture, mythology and sports.
But, despite their specialities, the team members all work hard to keep their knowledge base broad in order to help the team. Not only have they been studying hard to keep up with their regular school work and tests, they have also been having team drills and practice sessions.
Drinnon takes her role as team captain seriously and wants to help the team succeed.
“I’ve been studying and preparing so much,” she said. “I’ve analyzed all the other teams scores from all the competitions this year.” Drinnon created a spread sheet to help her track not only her teams strengths and weaknesses but those of the other competing teams as well. She also encourages the team to work and study hard to prepare for the national competition.
“She gives the team packets of information to study and lists of books to read,” Banks said of Drinnon and the other students.
This year marks the first time the Happy Valley Scholar’s Bowl Team has participated in the national competition, a fact that has some team members a bit nervous but all of them very excited.
Drinnon said she had a nightmare the team was disqualified from the competition because Lyons, the joker of team, got up and started telling puns on the microphone.
“I sat up in the middle of the night the other night and said ‘Scholar’s Bowl,” Vance said as she laughed. “I have a feeling that since I’m so calm about it now we will get down to Atlanta and I will end up sitting in the car crying.”
“I’m more excited than nervous,” Ray said.
At the national tournament, 58 schools will be competing. The Happy Valley team will face off against other schools in 10 rounds of a round-robin tournament to kick things off.
“As long as we have a winning record we get to go to the playoffs,” Lyons said.
The trip to the national competition is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the team.
“To even make it down there not only did we have to work our butts off studying, but we had to do fundraising too,” Lyons said. The group held bake sales and other events to help raise the money to cover their transportation, hotel rooms and contest fees for the event.
The team is looking forward to the competition and hoping to bring a first place victory back to Happy Valley High School.
But whether they win or not, Happy Valley High School Principal Terry Hubbard said she could not be prouder of the students because of their hard work, their dedication and how they have conducted themselves.
“In the last competition they went to, down at Oliver Springs, the judge said he was so proud of Happy Valley High School and that the students were a class act,” Hubbard said. “That is just such a good thing to hear about your students.”