A school tradition

by Sonja J. Keith

Since it began competing, Conway Christian School has earned a reputation for outstanding performance in the state quiz bowl competition. This year’s junior high team continued that school tradition with a state championship.

Members include team captain Jackson Quick, David Belvardi, Jacob Bowman, Faith Boyd, Brett Callaway, Lane McSpadden and Alec Ohlde. Quick was also named MVP, answering more questions than anyone else in the Class 2A.

Quiz bowl is a competition that features academic questions answered individually and as a team.

To be considered for the team, students have to sign up at the beginning of the school year and submit a teacher’s recommendation.

The teams begin practicing, with invitational tournaments in the fall. The junior high team did very well in the invitational tourneys, winning some of the bigger meets in the state.

“This is our third junior high championship in state,” said coach Laura Shelton, adding that the school has only been competing for the last six years.

Callaway said that there weren’t too many close games for the CCS team, making it easier for members to stay calm and answer questions.

Shelton said a competitive quiz bowl team needs good collaborators. “These are good, well-rounded students,” she said of this year’s team. “They don’t have to prep as much.”

While competitions include questions from a variety of topics, Bowman said it is helpful to read books and play trivia games. He recalled his dad drilling him with Trivia Pursuit cards, adding that several questions in competition were cards that his dad had read.

It also helps to be fast on the buzzer. It doesn’t hurt to be able to do math quickly either.

One of the toughest questions the team faced this year was “What’s a baby rabbit called?” The answer, which Belvardi knew, is a kitten.

The junior high team was recently recognized during chapel at the school and treated to lunch off campus.

The team T-shirt features a scripture on the back – “Wisdom is worth more than rubies,” Proverbs 8:11. “The reason we have that verse on our shirts is to distinguish between knowledge and wisdom,” said Shelton. “Knowledge comes from your own effort; wisdom comes from God refining your knowledge. That’s why it is so valuable.

“We really want our kids to focus on wisdom (encouraging teammates, being good sports, being respectful of adults, etc.) rather than glorying in their own knowledge.”

CCS hosted its first state finals tournament this year, making the state championship at home extra special.

“I was proud of my team for winning,” McSpadden said.