Local quiz bowl team competes in national championship

BRHS seniors (from left) James Morgan, Ethan Westerkamp, Ryan Draves, Ryan Cosper and Ayra Rao have participated in quiz bowl together since their freshman year of high school and recently competed in the national championships. (Courtesy photo)

BIG RAPIDS — Five Big Rapids High School seniors recently tested their knowledge during the 2018 Small School National Championship Tournament, which took place in Rosemont, Ill., at the end of April.

The event was part of the National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) Championship and was split into two divisions, traditional public schools and all other schools. The tournament is limited to 96 quiz bowl teams in the public schools division.

The tournament weekend began with teams meeting and playing scrimmage matches and progressed to preliminary games in a round-robin fashion. The weekend came to a close with the final playoff games. The BRHS team, consisting of team captain Arya Rao, Ryan Cosper, Ryan Draves, James Morgan and Ethan Westerkamp, competed in 10 rounds, answering as many questions as possible, according to team advisor Sue McCullen.

“If someone buzzes in and answers correctly, they then have the opportunity to answer an additional three questions as a team. A team earns 10 points for all correct answers. We earned 2,270 points through the 10 games and had a record of five wins and five losses,” McCullen said. “We had a great time and were very competitive with the very best teams in the country. I am very proud of the kids.”

This team has played together since freshman year and has been a part of the varsity A team for the past two years. During their time together, the team has qualified for the state quiz bowl tournament, which takes place on Michigan State University’s campus, in 2017 and 2018.

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

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