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  • Last modified 10 days ago (Nov. 8, 2018)

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Scholars' bowl showcases knowledge

Staff writer

The term “high school extracurriculars” refers to a broad range of activities — sports, musicals, forensics, and chess club.

Scholars’ bowl is different because it relates to students who excel academically.

“The kids who are good at it, they love it,” English teacher Bob Woelk said. “They really want to go as long as I schedule it.”

The academic competition further sets itself apart from other competition-based groups because the coaches have to schedule matches themselves, despite being sanctioned by the state.

“It’s kind of a good old boy network,” he said. “That’s one of the things that is really frustrating about it.”

Rounds consist of 16 questions from topics like math, social studies, and sports.

Lineups consist of five members, leaving Woelk with enough students for a varsity and JV lineup.

Woelk saw immediate success after taking over as supervisor three years ago.

“It’s one of the more fun things to coach,” he said. “This group of kids is a lot of fun to be around.”

Similar to other competitive extracurriculars, teams participate in regionals with the opportunity to advance to state. The team made it to state in Woelk’s first year, but could not get past regional last year.

The biggest roadblock for Woelk is student availability.

“Our kids are so involved in everything,” he said. “If a kid is involved in the musical coming up, they can’t be spared from rehearsal so I can’t use them.”

Availability has already played a key role in the team’s scheduling. Marion has a scholar bowl event in December, but it falls on the same day as a basketball game.

Hillsboro and Marion are not the only schools from the county to field teams. All five districts compete, with Peabody-Burns and Goessel each reaching state last year.

After participating his freshman year, Hillsboro junior Collin Brown took a year off because he was spread too thin. Despite the busy schedule, he decided to rejoin this year.

“We get to go to different places, and I like the random trivia,” he said.

The year is off to a promising start, with Hillsboro taking second place out of five at their home competition Thursday.

While teams keep score, it helps that the atmosphere isn’t as hyper-competitive as sporting events, Collin said.

“I’m mostly there to be a part of it,” Collin said. “I’m not the most competitive person.”

Last modified Nov. 8, 2018

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