On the Dueling Grounds: Scholars bowl team faces Rockhurst in first competition


Jamie Weiss

Buzzing in during practice, seniors Marialuna Schreiner Cintron and Jordan White prepare for Scholars Bowl.

Jamie Weiss, Staff Writer

The sounds of pencils frantically scribbling fill the room. The teams began to quietly whisper until the buzzer lit up which created a suspenseful silence. A moderator addressed junior Frank Cressey as he confidently answered the question. The answer was correct, and it secured 10 more points for the scholars bowl team.  

This year, head coach Alicia Baehr wanted to introduce a new practice style — a duel against Rockhurst on Nov. 3. With tournaments, teams compete against a new school each round with about 20 questions per round. A duel, on the other hand, is one round with 50 to 100 questions, and the competition is against one school. 

“I think it is a good experience for both teams, regardless of who wins or loses, because you are still competing,” Baehr said. “You are still answering questions and getting the experience of what it is like to be in a tournament.”

Cressey said he enjoyed the informalness of the duel and not having to worry if the team would make it to the next round.

“It was a lot less stressful than a tournament, because we weren’t worrying about qualifying for finals,” Cressey said. “It was just a lot more low-key.”   

Even though both the JV and varsity team lost, freshman Kathrine McGee felt that she was able to learn more about competitions before the tournament season started.

“There was a lot of panic at first,” McGee said. “It was a good learning experience, though, especially for the freshmen and sophomores who had never done it before.”

Questions ranged from the normal core subjects of math, science and english to some pop culture ones about singers, movies and more. 

“There was a question involving Daft Punk,” Cressey said. “I really like their music, and I was glad I got it right.”  

Scholars bowl in Missouri has a different style of play than Kansas, with longer questions and toss-up style answers. According to Baehr, this created a slight shock for the team.

“The questions are super wordy and about a paragraph long as opposed to the ones in Kansas which are very short and sweet,” Baehr said. “In Kansas, you are also able to jump in and answer every question.” 

The team would like to host at least one more duel against Rockhurst and foresees more of these in the future against other schools. They enjoyed being able to bond and become a stronger team.  

“My favorite part was seeing our faces when we got one right and the excitement it caused,” McGee said. “Plus, we got cookies afterwards.”