LIMA — Two groups of four students each from Shawnee and Lima Central Catholic high schools listened attentively as the moderator asked 15 questions during an initial round including which harbor spurred the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner” or what prison name is Spanish for pelican.
This round was followed by a lightning round.
Eight schools participated in the 25th annual Allen County Educational Service Center Academic Quiz Bowl tournament sponsored by Bluffton University and First Federal Bank. Because of snowy roads on Monday, three schools opted to not participate.
For Shawnee High School junior Theo Paik and senior Katelyn Cremonese, they have always loved this tournament because of the number of area schools involved and the level of competition.
“I think what really makes this competition different and stand out is they hand out an MVP award and there is more of an emphasis on sportsmanship,” Katelyn said.
Theo said Katelyn specializes in literature for their team and he is fond of Greek mythology.
For their match against LCC, they entered a science lab for another round of the two-day competition. The first day of competition held two weeks ago, they get to have round robins and to meet each other, first-time organizer Barb Hochstetler said, and this time they play for real.
The event has been a memorable one for the students and the organizers. With winter weather wreaking havoc on the tournament schedule, Hochstetler, who received help from longtime organize Judy Chaffins, praised the team members and their advisers as they had to draft an entirely new schedule.
“Honestly everybody has been very cooperative and very gracious,” Hochstetler said. “They have been laid back, calm, willing to work this out and ready to go. They wanted to be fair for everybody and to even out the schedule. They have been wonderful.”
Chaffins said this tournament holds a special place in her heart and the competitors because it attracts good students.
“This is about kids who get the chance to participate on teams and exercise their academic knowledge and skills and to compete against other schools in a friendly competition,” Chaffins said. “They get the chance to showcase what they learn in school and beyond.”
The two women also provided an example of love for the tournament as they talked about a parent and child who have competed or attended in the event since the child was in fifth grade participating in the junior high competition in January or February and junior high competition in the fall through high school at Christmastime.
Hochstetler said they were sad to see their time participating in the event come to an end.
At the end of the competition on Monday, Elida High School won the junior varsity title with the most wins and the most points.
At the varsity level, Wapakoneta High School earned the most wins with eight, with Elida High School finishing second with seven wins. Shawnee High School held a tie-breaker to finish third with Bath High School coming in fourth. Both schools had six wins.
Points served as the tie-breaker and it was important that Theo and Katelyn gave answers such as “Baltimore Harbor” and “Alcatraz.”