The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

Knowledge Bowl team competes for scholarships

By Heather Whitty | Copy Editor

Students at Marshfield often hear about the basketball teams or the football team. There is one team, however, that rarely gets recognition: the Knowledge Bowl team.

Knowledge Bowl consists of two teams; the regular team and the Academic Challenge team. Students must qualify for the Academic Challenge team, but anyone is allowed on the regular team as long as they are passing all of their classes. According to science teacher and co-coach of the teams Jonathan Hill, the Academic Challenge team is televised and carries with it the possibility of scholarships.

“A few years ago we got second place at a competition,” Hill said. “It ended up getting each student about a $4000 scholarship.”

There are no scholarships available for the regular team, but being on the team can help students get to Academic Challenge the next year.

“Academic Challenge is just a harder version of Knowledge Bowl,” sophomore Sasha Strain said.

At the beginning of the year, a competition is held to determine who is on the Academic Challenge team as there are only five openings. Students on that team must have it as their first priority because they cannot be replaced.

“Once you say you’re on the team, you’re committed,” Hill said. “On the regular Knowledge Bowl team, students can come and go. We understand that people have other commitments.”

The teams have been very successful in past years, placing high in competitions. The teams are also successful this year, but they do not have as many returning players.

“This year on the Academic Challenge team, we don’t have any seniors,” Hill said.

The teams practice often to get prepared for upcoming competitions, including answering questions on subjects ranging from TV trivia to famous literature. Practices are held every week at lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Hill’s and science teacher and co-coach Scott Stockert’s classrooms, respectively.

“We go over a lot of world capitals,” junior Mike Stephens said. “We do a lot of fast math.”

Stephens has done Knowledge Bowl every year in high school; he is on the Academic Challenge team and is a sort of captain of the teams.

“My brother was in [Knowledge Bowl], so I guess it runs in the family,” Stephens said.

The students of the Academic Challenge team use travel time to prepare, taking advantage of their long trips.

“On the bus rides, we will cram,” Strain said.

The team does not get a lot of local competitors. They travel to places like Brookings and Medford for meets.

“Our biggest competition is Brookings,” Strain said. “We either demolish them, they demolish us, or it’s a really close match.”

The team has home meets two or three times a year. Students are allowed to come watch the meets with the consent of their teacher because they are during school hours. Hill thinks more students would be interested in joining the team if they could see a competition.

The regular Knowledge Bowl team at Marshfield usually has 10 to 15 students and is always open to students who wish to participate.

“It would be wonderful to have more students involved,” Hill said. “We do have difficulty finding students who are interested, but it’s just because they think they aren’t eligible. If you’re passing all your classes, you’re eligible.”

The results for competitions are not revealed to the teams until after the school year is over, so the Knowledge Bowl teams do not get as much recognition for their accomplishments as they could if the results came in earlier.

“We try to encourage [teachers] to congratulate students that do well,” Hill said. “There isn’t a lot of peer to peer recognition.”

The teams have their strengths and weaknesses. Math and science are strengths, while the teams have a harder time with geography and literature. The teams study these areas to improve their knowledge.

“We really just study up,” freshman Jareth Sypher said.

Students on the team enjoy Knowledge Bowl and encourage other students to give it a go.

“It’s fun. People should try it,” Strain said. “It looks good on college applications.”

Hill admires the ability of his team members and the time dedicated to learning.
“They definitely have talent in areas that I don’t,” Hill said. “I look at them in awe as people who try to succeed.”

And an emphasis on academic success at school is definitely worth recognition.

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Knowledge Bowl team competes for scholarships