First year quiz bowl coach, Ashley Marcum, comes to the team from Central. There, the program was strong, according to Marcum. She has been coaching quiz bowl for the past four years at the middle school level.
With the new coaches, there have been changes in how practices are run. In previous years, their practices were student run but this year coaches Marcum and Debbie Reed have been more involved in practices.
“Last year, the team was almost completely student-run,” junior Owen Collins said. “Mr. Fink went to competitions with us, but we the students carried out practices by ourselves. This year, Mrs. Marcum and Mrs. Reed have been much more involved in helping with practices and competitions.”
There have been other changes involving tryouts and captains.
“The biggest change that we made this year was requiring students to try out for the team,” Marcum said. “We also took some of the responsibilities off of the team captain, Bailey Hopkins. I am sure there were other small changes too, but I am not 100% familiar with how the program ran in the past to know what all changes we made this year.”
Tryouts will be yearly in late September and early October.
“At first the team seemed hesitant to have Coach Reed and I on-board, but as the season progressed we became a small family,” Marcum said.
There were only two sophomores on the team one of the sophomores being Brady Billingley.
“Being one of two sophomores on the team has definitely been scary. It’s very intimidating when you’re competing against seniors,” Billingley said. “But at the same time, it’s helped me step out of my comfort zone. Our coaches Mrs. Marcum and Mrs. Reed are new to the team, too, so I think we all feel the same way.”
The team attended three competitions this year. Although they did not make state, they placed in the top five at each competition this season.
“The team played very well this year, we attended three tournaments and placed in the top 5 at each of them,” Marcum said. “Also, our own, Owen Collins, was the high point player of the entire regional competition this season.”
Collins was the high point player of the entire regional competition. Which means he scored the most points than any other player the whole season. He averaged more points per game than any other player on any team in attendance.
“I was honestly pretty surprised to find out that I was the top scorer. I knew that I had been answering a lot of questions, but I thought that surely one of the players from one of the top teams would have answered a lot more than me, so it was really exciting when they announced my name,” Collins said.
Students improve by attending practices. According to Marcum, knowing each other’s specialty area is just as important as having a wide variety of knowledge. Students will also study areas that we realize we lack knowledge of as a team.
“Something I love about quiz bowl is just how spontaneous it is. You never know what questions or topics they’re going to ask about,” Billingley said.