Fastest with the answers

Lee Early College comes from behind for victory
Feb. 09, 2014 @ 05:02 AM

Trading leads throughout the final moments of the 2014 Lee County Library Quiz Bowl, the final match between Lee Early College and Southern Lee High School came down to the wire.

Lee Early College was ultimately victorious — recovering after trailing 60 points — and blocked Southern Lee from clinching the quiz bowl title for a second year. Cheers, high fives and hugs erupted after the final question passed without a correct answer from Southern Lee at First Presbyterian Church on Saturday.

“The adrenaline hasn’t stopped,” said Lee Early Coach Rodney Schmitz. “I couldn’t believe how far they came back from. They really worked hard and have done a lot of competitions to prepare.”

When Lee Early College entered the third round down 80-20, Schmitz said he almost lost hope.

“But they didn’t disappoint,” he said. “They came back. And Southern had a great team this year and did an awesome job.”

Lee Early College Captain Isaac Haines, a senior who has participated in the Quiz Bowl for three years, said he appreciated his team’s hard work and dedication in the season leading up to the double elimination bowl. 

“It was really good, and really close,” he said. “Closer than I wanted.”

Lee Early College entered the final match undefeated, forcing Southern to defeat the team twice. Southern won 115-105 during the first match but failed to the topple the team for a second time, falling 95-80 to Lee Early College.

“We had the early lead a couple of times tonight, but they played a great match,” said Southern Lee Captain Colby Kirkman.

Kirkman, who was on last year’s champion team, said they were in a similar spot in 2013. Despite the loss, the team did their best, he said.

“I want to thank everyone who came to support us,” Kirkman said. “Our advisers for stepping up so we can have a team. And thanks to our friends and teammates.”

Robin Showalter and Donna Ansted were both new coaches for Southern Lee and said they had a wonderful experience.

“We are really proud,” Showalter said. “We really enjoyed it.”

The students were exceptional to work with, Ansted echoed.

“I am extremely pleased,” said Quiz Bowl moderator David Riddle. “The students were attentive, knowledgeable, cooperative and polite. I think they showed good sportsmanship.”

Lee Christian School placed third, and Lee County High School finished fourth, both after being knocked out by Southern in the loser’s bracket.

“I loved it,” said Lee County Commissioner Chairman Charlie Parks. “I think it’s a good chance for different schools to practice their knowledge and to see the schools’ teaching ability. So that is always a good thing.”

It helps the students think on their feet, he said, rather than studying for a test.

Sanford City Councilman Samuel Gaskins, who was a Quiz Bowl judge, said he was glad to see more math and science questions included in this year’s competition.

“It’s always a lot of fun to see the high schools compete,” he said. “And I am glad to see the questions were a bit tougher.”

The teams were as follows:

• Lee Christian High School: Sarah Bowers, Noah Cowfer, Cameron Howell, Lauren Lane, Korey LeMaster, Kris Uy and Sarah Womack. Coaches are Stephen Coble and Gail Meeks.

• Lee Early College: Warren Colavito, Tyler Everhart, Isaac Haines, Hunter Jones, TiMarcus Robinson. Coaches are Rodney Schmitz.

• Lee County High School: Evelyn Barrientos, Emanuel Aragon Cruz, Yazmin Diaz, Andy Faulk, Haley Kane, Gregory Lewis, Autumn Melby, Duncan Riddle and Michael Russell. Coaches are Stephen Roman and Pippa Nelson.

• Southern Lee High School: Ashley Aparicio, Donica Brown, Rene Gilstrap, Carlos Jimenez, Colby Kirkman, Jessica Long, Alex Palme, Hunter Randolph, Sevryn Schaller, Synjyn Schaller, Faith Steen and Colin Yoder. Coaches are Donna Ansted and Robin Showalter.