Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield High School Quiz Bowl team finished their competition season strong, sort of like the basketball teams and the wrestling team,… “Close, but no cigar.” Like any good team, regular practice across a variety of topics, is necessary for improvement and success. Contests with other schools begin in the fall, stretch across the winter and, more often than not, come to a finale in the Spring. Tournaments can be scheduled all across the academic year, from the Aurora Turkey Tourney to the Ohio Academic Challenge this spring.
This was the scenario for 2015-16, closing with the league tournament (twelve teams : Aurora, Field, James A. Garfield, Lake Center Christian, Mogadore, Newbury, Ravenna, Rootstown, Southeast, Streetsboro, Waterloo, Western Reserve Academy,) on Wednesday, March 2, held at The Y in Garrettsville, followed by a TRASH Tournament (“popular culture”—movies, gaming, sports, TV, music, etc.) at Streetsboro on Saturday, March 5, and winding up with appearance on Channel 5’s Westfield Academic Challenge television program on Saturday evening. Big finish for the year, although the television show was actually taped back in the fall; Gilmour Academy is a powerful opponent. Other outside tournaments took place at Olmsted Falls and John Carroll University. Strong teams can—if their finances can support the travel—head off to state and national competitions all over the country.
Nine team members survived the season: Christian Crawford, Megan Duderstadt, Haley Kern, Hunter Sopher, Eric Splinter, Kevin Splinter, Zoe Swenson, Hannah White, Marissa White. These are active students, who participate in many school activities like band, drama, InterAct, sports, Model U.N.; they take advantage of as many opportunities as they are able. They’ve had to compete sometimes on a team of only two rather than the standard four. They’re expanding their receptive minds. They’re pretty funny too. Some of their wrong answers have been lots more interesting than the correct ones. They’re into Twix bars…gotta feed those brain cells. Four seniors graduate this year—Megan Duderstadt, Eric Splinter, Hannah White and Marissa White—which means that there will be plenty of room for up-and-comers in the academic realm for next year. Being on the academic challenge team looks good on a college application and doesn’t hurt in expanding general knowledge across the board. Recruitment is on!