GF Quiz Bowl team shines at regional
The Green Forest Junior High Quiz Bowl Team had a winning season this year.
The team won third place at the regional competition in Bellefonte, and ninth-grader Austin Booth was named the high-point player.
The team qualified for the state competition at Conway Junior High School this past weekend, and team members Booth, Owen Cisco, Sara Reyes, Dylan Hudson, Anna Luebbering, Kahlan Lindstrom, Zach Doran and Ally Holsted all competed.
Booth said it was surprising to place third at regionals.
“Last year, we had really strong players, and we weren’t really sure how we would do this year,” he said.
“We were all super proud,” Holsted said.
She said regionals was held in a round-robin format, meaning Green Forest got to play every team that was there. Booth explained that there are two styles of Quiz Bowl: round robin and Swiss.
“Swiss style is when you play three games in the morning, and then after lunch it’s single-elimination,” Booth said. “Round robin is where you play every single team in your bracket, and then they tally up the points. It’s more fair that way, even though it takes a lot longer.”
“Every game is about an hour. We played seven games at regionals, so we were there about seven hours,” Holsted said. “I feel like we had more of a chance because it was less of how you played a single game and more of how you played overall.”
Booth said it felt good to be named the high-point player. He said he had an 11 question per game average at district and a 9.8 question per game average at state.
“Last year, one of my really good friends was our star player and was always the high-point player,” he said. “I felt like I could do a lot better this year, and Owen helped a lot, too. We scored a lot of the points.”
Booth said he believes all the team members stepped up a lot this year.
“Everyone answered more questions,” he said. “Several people who were completely silent last year answered at least five or six questions this year.”
Holsted said the team was really impressed with Doran at regionals and state.
“He’s one of the two eighth-graders we have, and, when we put him in, there were some questions that none of us knew that he could answer by the second word,” she said. “We were like ‘How do you know that?’ ”
Booth said the team didn’t do as well at state as they had at regionals. State was held in Swiss style, he said.
“We won our first game, which gave us a lot of confidence,” he said. “We went into the second game thinking we were going to do better than we did. We lost the second two games, and, since it was Swiss style, we went home when we lost after lunch.”
Holsted said the team wasn’t even sure if they would finish the competition because the stormy weather had knocked out the power at the school.
“We thought it might have been a transformer explosion, so we thought we were just going to go home,” she said. “I think it kind of shook everybody because that doesn’t normally happen at a Quiz Bowl tournament.”
Holsted continued, “I think we did well and played like we should have. There were just really good teams at state.”
Reyes said she was proud of the team’s performance at both regionals and state.
“I felt proud of the team because it was my first year here,” she said. “I wasn’t 100 percent sure how we were going to do and I didn’t feel like I was as good of a player because I’m new.”
Booth said the team got some obscure questions during the competitions.
“One question they asked us was about an aquatic carnivorous dinosaur,” he said. “We had no idea what it was.”
“Owen popped in out of nowhere to answer ‘icthyosaurus’ and got it right,” Holsted said. “Later, they asked a question about who started putting Bibles in hotel rooms, and Zach answered that it was Gideon. We were impressed.”
Lindstrom said there was a lightning round where the team was given the names of two fictional characters from a book and had to give the title.
“They almost swept the round but missed ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ ” she said. “Ally turned around and whispered ‘What was that last one?’ The look on her face when I told her was like ‘How did we miss that?’ ”
“All of us that were in that round hadn’t read the book,” Holsted said, laughing. “I knew I knew it, but I couldn’t remember where the characters were from.”
The team said one of the best experiences from the competitions was bonding on the bus rides over.
“That’s always the most fun part of Quiz Bowl,” Holsted said. “The stories and the stupid stuff you make up. We came up with a whole sitcom and had the first three seasons completely planned out.”
Quiz Bowl adviser Pam Morgan said she was proud of the team’s performance.
“We have a really good team,” she said. “I’m so proud of these students and their accomplishments this year.”