Four area schools to compete for knowledge title

Feb. 06, 2014 @ 09:48 PM

In the old fellowship hall of Sanford’s First Presbyterian Church, some high school students recalled dates and historical figures while others tried to predict their own future in this weekend’s battle of the brains.

Four teams gathered Thursday afternoon to practice prior to the annual Lee County Library Quiz Bowl, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian, located at 203 Hawkins Ave.  It’s a competition, according to Lee County Director Michael Matochik, rooted in tradition.

“It always goes well,” he said. “There is a lot of teamwork and learning.”

The teams will answer questions in a variety of topics — expect less sports questions and more science and technology, Matochik said — in a double- elimination style match Saturday.

The questions seem harder this year, said long-time moderator David Riddle, and with the increased difficulty, he said he’s anxious to see how the scholars will fare.

“Listen closely to the question, give it some thought and then reply, rather than shoot from the saddle,” Riddle said. “And listen for the connections in the language.”

It will be a rebuilding year for the reining champions as Southern Lee High School’s team manages new advisers and several new members.

“There have been a lot of changes with our adviser moving schools and several of last year’s members graduating,” said team captain Colby Kirkman. “We’ve got as good of a shot as anyone else here.”

Donna Ansted and Robin Showalter are both new coaches for the Southern Lee team, and both said they wished their students would have fun and learn from the competition.

Isaac Haines, captain of the Lee Early College team, has been a quiz bowl member for the last three years, and the senior is looking forward to Saturday. With extensive practice, there are several experts on the team, he said. The Lee Early College Coach Rodney Schmitz wasn’t available to attend the practice, but Haines was assured the team was ready.

Stephen Coble, coach of the Lee Christian School team, said they had a small group with no seniors, but what they lacked in experience they made up for with enthusiasm.

“The main thing is that they gain an appreciation for learning,” he said. “And seeing the value of what they learned.”

The Lee Christian team captain was unable to attend the practice session, but Sarah Womack, one of the team’s co-captains, said she’s been looking forward to the quiz bowl for several years.

“We have a lot of strengths and not a lot of weaknesses,” she said. “… All I want is to learn and improve my quiz bowl skills.”

Andy Faulk, captain of the Lee County High School team, called the academic event a great opportunity to get to know other students from various schools and a chance to refine their abilities. They’ve focused, he said, on art, math and literature. One of their coaches, Pippa Nelson, said they’re a solid team but weren’t able to hold as many practices as she wished because of the stormy weather.

“I hope they know that knowledge is as important as other things that are valued in schools,” she said.

The teams are as follows:

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

* Lee Early College: Warren Colavito, Tyler Everhart, Isaac Haines, Hunter Jones, TiMarcus Robinson. Coaches include 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 include 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 include Donna Ansted and Robin Showalter. 

Sponsors include the Lee County Library, Friends of the Lee County Library and The Herald.