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Junior High Scholars Bowl - 2017

Article, photo and video news package produced by Reese Fergola, Mary Kate Gerber and Ethan Clark

Scholars Bowl team clinches back-to-back titles

(May 25, 2107)

During March, 12 junior high students prepared their brains for the annual Junior High Mid-East League Scholars Bowl meet. The eighth-grade team went in with a title to defend, while the seventh graders went in with only their thinking caps and early morning practices.

Both teams competed on Wednesday, April 12 at Wabaunsee Junior High School. The seventh graders, led by Coach Kelby Brown, came in fourth. The eighth graders, led by Coach Karen Kroge, clinched back-to-back titles by winning the meet as seventh and eight-graders.

The seventh-grade line-up included Brogan Renfro, Carson Johnson, Gannon Remer, Ahmed Farooqi, Luke Womack, and Daigan Kruger. The eighth-grade team consisted of Ethan Clark, Aubrey Bahner, Anna Ruby, Caige Cromer, Reese Fergola and Mary Kate Gerber.

The Scholars Bowl rounds start off with three social studies questions, followed by three language arts, three math, science, followed my one fine arts and one sports, one miscellaneous, and then year in review current events questions.

Brogan and Ruby shared their favorite topics.

“My favorite category is sports because I know mostly about sports, ” Renfro said.

“Math is my favorite category because it is my favorite subject,” Ruby added.

Karen Kroge, Scholars Bowl head coach also has her favorites about Scholars Bowl.

“I think Language Arts because I teach English Language Arts. I especially like when the questions is asked and then the students, when they get the answer right they go, ‘Oh yeah, we talked about that in class,’ or ‘I know that from class,’ or ‘We went over that,’ and they connect it back to their learning,” Kroge said.

Kroge started coaching Scholars Bowl after ‘inheriting’ it from Carol Blackburn, the former Literature/English teacher, and Brown joined her as an assistant.

She explained her thoughts about the first practice.

“I think the initial thought on coaching the first practice, I kind of had a game plan in mind and then I had to come to the realization that, we would go over the rules, and then practicing with buzzers. A lot of students like to jump the gun with the buzzers or they want to talk afterward, so kind of those skills are an important part not just answering the questions, but the whole process and rules as well.

“Some of the reasons I enjoy teaching Scholars Bowl is because you get a great group of kids together and they are testing their knowledge and in a variety of areas and activities and it fun to see them work together,” she said.

Going with the theme of first practices, Ruby said that the reason she joined Scholar’s Bowl was because of her brothers.

“My brothers were all in Scholars Bowl, so I thought it decided to join, and going into it turned out to be fun,” she said.

Brogan was in it for the educational value.

“The thing I gain most from practices is more knowledge that I would have never known. It makes me more confident when I am taking a test, like ‘Hey, I learned that in Scholars Bowl,’” he said.

Even Kroge said she learned new things from the practices.

“I think there were a few questions about international authors or events, there was one in particular, that the name I was like ‘Oh! I haven't even heard of that person myself!’ So, realizing not all of us know the answers to everything,” she said. 


Eighth grader Ethan Clark chews his finger as he contemplates the answer. (Photo by Reese Fergola)

Aubry Bahner, newcomer to the eighth-grade team, works her way through a challenging math problem.

Seventh-Graders Daigan Kruger, Gannon Remer, and Carson Johnson wait in anticipation for the question. (Photo by Ethan Clark)