Scholars Bowl team earns trip to Big Easy

Published 1:09 pm Friday, May 22, 2015

By Morgan Burkett
The Greenville Advocate

School’s out at McKenzie, but the Scholars Bowl team isn’t quite ready to call it quits for summer.

During the Butler County competition, McKenzie’s team scored high enough to be invited to the national competition in New Orleans, which begins today and runs through Monday.

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“I feel that academic competitions are just as important as athletic competitions,” said Tera Simmons, administrative assistant for student learning with the Butler County School System.

While the team’s exceptional score got it into the competition, it was a helping hand from an anonymous donor that got the team members to the competition.

“An anonymous donor is what made this trip possible for the students and I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for the students to participate in a national competition,” said Simmons.

The competition will be held at the Hampton Inn.

Every team will play six games in the preliminary rounds.  Opponents will be chosen at random. In the competition, there will be a mixture of audio questions and visual questions. All 4-2, 5-1, and 6-0 teams will advance to the playoffs.

Four contestants and a coach from the winning team in the varsity division will be transported to the third phase of the competition in Chicago and will compete in the semi-final or final round on June 9, with airfare being provided by the national Academic Association and three rooms per team.

“I appreciate the sponsors, Angela Garrett and Mary Catherine Gunter, who willingly sacrificed their time to practice with the students after school. I also hope this competition ignites a fire and as a result more school teams will compete at state and national level in the future,” said Simmons.

Cash prizes are given to the winners.

The first-place varsity team receives $3,000, while the second-place team and third-place team receive $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

“I am extremely proud of our team for earning scores high enough to qualify them for an invitation to a national tournament,” said Angela Garrett, Scholars Bowl sponsor. “They are a wonderful group of students. I’m sure we will have a great time in New Orleans — win or lose.”