The competition was strong at this year’s Blount County Scholars Bowl Tournament held April 20 and 21 at CrossRoads Baptist Church in Hayden. Winning the most matches and coming out on top was Locust Fork who was crowned Blount County Scholars Bowl Champion. Senior Emileigh Crouch scored the most points of all participants in the tournament.
The team started strong this season winning their first four matches before weather events caused delays and finally cancellation of the remaining four matches. Locust Fork won 205-105 over Cleveland and 220-125 over Hayden. The Hornets later beat J.B. Pennington 260-76 and Susan Moore 145-80.
Team sponsor Sherry Brewer said her team worked hard to find their niche and can get really aggressive and competitive against each other during practices. “They get into some pretty heated discussions too,” she said. They met after school weekly for practices, reviewing, and covering many different subjects from history, math, and the Bible to artists, music, and current events.
Brewer stated, “Emileigh Crouch, a team member since eighth grade, was our ‘ringer’ this year, answering almost every question in the current events category.
“Our kids are amazing, and they love being the quirky, nerdy, ‘how did you know that?’ kid. I am in awe of their range of knowledge and memory.”
John Hughes has been one of the team’s sponsors on and off for 29 years while Brewer has sponsored the Locust Fork team for 14 years. “We love seeing these kids excel and have fun.”
Last year, due to COVID-19, the season was shortened and eventually canceled when schools transitioned to remote learning. “Our team really missed getting to practice,” she said. “We have fun and enjoy the camaraderie, competition, and friendships.”
Students try out for the team using a timed questionnaire. The team typically has eight to 15 members from seventh to 12th grades. This year, the Hornets were fortunate enough to have a B-team of mostly seventh and eighth graders who are learning the ropes from their more seasoned players.
“Scholars Bowl requires not only a very wide knowledge set, but depends on super quick recall,” Brewer said. “The first to buzz in gets to answer the question, so a fast thumb is a must. Most questions are individually answered, but the lightning rounds allow for consultation and consensus of all members, agreeing, very quickly, on an answer that the captain then gives.
“We are thankful for the support of our team parents, [Locust Fork principal] Tommy Smitherman, Cindy Bartlett [secondary curriculum coordinator}, The Blount County Education Foundation, and Brett King and partners at King, Green & Dobson, LLC for allowing us to have this team and to continue to support academic and extracurricular opportunities for our students.”