March 25, 2010
By Stephanie Choate
Champlain Valley Union High School’s Scholars Bowl team made it to the semifinal round last weekend in the state championship, held at Champlain College.
CVU beat Spaulding High School in the quarterfinal round, but lost to Hanover High School, which came in second, in the semifinals. Essex won the state title, and CVU shared the third-place spot with Middlebury High School.
“I was very pleased at how we played on Saturday,” Coach John Bennett wrote in an e-mail to the Observer. “We did a great job, coming back from behind early to take the lead, and falling only due to Hanover’s own excellence in the end.”
Scholars Bowl is a question-and-answer academic game played by teams. Seven CVU students competed in Saturday’s tournament, but Bennett said there have been as many as 20 students competing throughout the year.
“We got a good start against Hanover, and played our best,” said Phil Clark, a sophomore from Williston. “I personally think we did great getting as far as we did this year, and I wouldn’t do anything different. We played great all season, and everyone will have a shot at the championship next year.”
Clark said he got involved with Scholars Bowl as a freshman because he was bored during the 45 minutes of free time he had before classes. Someone suggested he try Scholars Bowl.
“Now it’s an integral part of my day,” he said.
Junior Krysta Dummit said she joined the team because her brother was on it, but stuck with it because she likes the intellectual challenge and the people involved.
“It was fun to participate in the state championships,” she said. “It was gratifying to do so well, but it’s fun either way. Matching wits with the team across from you is fun, and just seeing who can get the buzzer first.”
On March 12, CVU won the Vermont National Academic Tournament, which included 18 teams around the state. The CVU team finished the season with a 39-5 record — the best in team history.
“These students are to be commended for their ability and character and are great representatives for CVU,” Bennett wrote.
CVU has been involved in Scholars Bowl for more than 20 years, and Bennett has been the coach since the 2001-2002 school year. CVU won the state championship in 2007.
“To me, Scholars Bowl is simply a fun activity for kids, a game of quick recall, and a way for students to be members of a non-athletic team,” Bennett wrote.
“I consider myself to be really blessed here at CVU with great players, great parents and great support from the school and district faculty and administration alike. The success that we’ve had really reflects all of the academic achievements we’ve made across the whole district.”
All of the players in Saturday’s tournament were in 10th and 11th grade, and Bennett wrote, “The 2010-11 season looks very promising to say the least.”