THS scholars’ bowl team rolling through tourneys
The Tonganoxie High School debate team isn't the only THS academic squad finding success at tournaments.
Tonganoxie's scholars bowl team has been competing at various meets since October.
The Chieftains placed first at the Lansing Tournament, finished second at Kansas City Christian and placed third at Bonner Springs. Overall, the team has competed in seven meets, including a home tournament in early November.
Scholars' bowl coach Meghan White said the team has done well in its tournaments so far this season.
"They're very, very competitive this year," White said. "I have mostly seniors on varsity and I have some upcoming sophomores and juniors who have potential.
"I think we'll be good in the following years."
This is White's second year as the scholars' bowl sponsor. During the 2004-05 school year, White had 13 kids sign up for the activity. This school year, 31 students signed up.
"So they're recruiting," White said with a laugh. "Word of mouth is really powerful."
White said about 20 students are "actively involved" with the team.
The varsity and junior varsity teams practice three times a week for 30 minutes each session. The team practices twice each week before school and once after school. White follows that schedule because "students are so busy," she said.
"Many of the students have so many other activities," White said.
Several students also participate in debate at THS, which runs during roughly the same time as scholars' bowl. The debate season ends in late January, while scholars' bowl finishes in early February.
For the most part, the seasons successfully overlap, although Tonganoxie did not compete in this year's WIBW High Q knowledge bowl as it did last school year, because of another event.
"We couldn't because of a big debate tournament, because about 90 percent (of the scholars bowl team) were debating" White said. "I actually went to the debate tournament with them."
The team competes in another non-scholars bowl event -- a science bowl held each year at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo.
How it works
In scholars' bowl, teams usually compete in head-to-head competition, and four or five players participate for each team at a time. Teams also have one alternate player who can participate during the meet.
Questions are given in these topics: science, math, language arts, social sciences, foreign language and current events, or year in review.
Usually, White said, each round, or head-to-head competition, consists of 16 questions with two possible tie-breaker questions. A tournament ranges between five and 14 rounds, White said.
Although Tonganoxie will not compete again this season at home, they still will have several regular-season meets on the schedule in the new year.
The team will compete today at Piper (varsity), Jan. 26 at Basehor (jr. varsity), Jan. 28 at Rockhurst (Science Bowl) and Jan. 30 at the league meet at Piper.
The squad also plans to compete in two postponed meets -- at Eudora and Mill Valley -- but those dates haven't been finalized.
Shooting for a state bid
Tonganoxie placed fourth at regionals last season.
Although THS didn't advance to state, the team did defeat a squad at regionals that advanced to state.
"This year we think we have a pretty good shot at it," White said.
Tonganoxie's regional will be Feb. 2 at Prairie View High School in La Cygne. THS will compete against Prairie View, Baldwin, Basehor-Linwood, Bonner Springs, De Soto, Eudora, Anderson County, Piper, Osawatomie, Spring Hill, Fort Scott, KC Sumner, Louisburg and Santa Fe Trail.
If Tonganoxie advances out of regionals, the Chieftains will compete at state Feb. 11 in De Soto.
In the meantime, the team will continue practicing three times a week. White asks the team questions from quiz bowl packets the school purchases in the summer. She said she usually borrows question packets from other coaches as well.
"I've got one for every subject," White said.
Preparation, though, doesn't come just from team practices.
"Mostly I just tell the kids just really pay attention in classes," White said. "Because questions in tournaments are supposed to be asked on what kids are learning in schools."