For the first time in school history, the Andover Central High School (ACHS) Scholars Bowl team won the 4A State Championship, knocking off three-time 4A state champion, Desoto.
“The team went 9-1 on Saturday,” said Sharon Slade, the team’s coach. “We lost one round by one question.”
Twelve schools qualified for the State championship by winning their Regional competition. The schools were divided into two pools of six. ACHS played against the five other schools in their pool and one every competition.
“The boys were a little nervous about Desoto,” said Slade. “They were the defending champions, but we beat them in pool play.”
The top three teams from each pool then went on to compete in the finals. ACHS played Desoto again but lost by one question. However, the Andover Central team still won nine out of 10 of their contests for the day, leaving Desoto in third place.
“I was so impressed with the boys,” said Slade. “They really enjoyed themselves and never seemed overly stressed. They worked really well together.”
“Scholars Bowl” tournaments are held throughout the year, hosted each time by different schools. Students are asked questions about language, social studies, math, science, fine arts and current events and get points for correct answers.
Slade said this year’s team has been diverse in their knowledge and credits that for their successful year.
The Andover team is made up of the six who won the State title, Jackson Mace, Jacob Thompson, Sharad Richardet, Colin Williams and Ryan Menke and Jacob Murray, as well as Michael Grendahl, Abby Parker, Malkie Hematillake, Renee Price, Greg Mills, Daniel Saunders, Madison Boshers, Ashley Fonger, Audrey Marshall, Parker Fox and Andrew Wurzer.
“There wasn’t any one person holding up the team, it was a team effort” said Slade. “That doesn’t always happen. You don’t always have that combination of kids.”
As for what happens next, Slade said the team has their sights set on “Dilly Bars.” In the past, when an ACHS team has won a state championship, the entire school gets ice cream from the local “Dairy Queen.” The Scholar’s Bowl team hopes this time is no different.