Wetmore High School Scholars Bowl places fourth at State
Submitted by Alena Pfrang WHS Student Correspondent
On Thursday, Feb. 1, the Wetmore High School Scholars Bowl team competed at Regionals, held at Randolph-Blue Valley. There was a total of 12 teams; two pools of six.
Pool A consisted of Hartford, Randolph-Blue Valley, Linn, Wetmore, Waverly and White City. Axtell, Junction City-St. Xavier, Miltonville, Hope, Melvern-Marais Des Cygnes Valley and Atchison-Riverbend International made up Pool B. The top three of each pool advanced to the championship round. While the top three teams overall advance to State, only the top two teams receive Regional plaques.
Overall, there was plenty of competition at Regionals. The six teams that proceeded to the championship round were Linn, Junction City-St. Xavier, Wetmore, Axtell, Riverbend and Hartford. The round results revealed that there was a close four-way tie between Wetmore, Junction City-St. Xavier, Atchison-Riverbend International and Axtell. After an agonizingly long wait, the officials presented Linn as first, Junction City-St. Xavier as second, and Wetmore as third.
Once they heard that they were advancing to state, the WHS Scholars Bowl team couldn’t believe it.
“I was ecstatic that the students would be recognized for their hard work this year,” said Scholars Bowl coach Thelma Strathman.
It had been a decade since Wetmore last went to State Scholars Bowl. This will be their fourth time ever going to State. The last times that Wetmore continued past Regionals were in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
“I was mostly happy for Mrs. [Thelma] Strathman (Scholars Bowl sponsor) because it has been a little while since Wetmore has gone to State,” said junior Curtis Bloom.
On Saturday, Feb. 10, the WHS Scholars Bowl team – senior Alena Pfrang, juniors Ally Davis, Curtis Bloom, Joel Hutfles, Alyssa Montgomery and sophomore Savannah Bryant – had an early start to a four-hour trip to Ransom, to compete at the 1A Division II State Scholars Bowl competition.
Although many of the team members were up late at the King and Queen of Courts dance the night before, they were ready to begin the long car ride. Tagging along with the team were Coach Strathman and Athletic Director Anissa Bloom. Equipped with plenty of snacks and beverages, the travelers began their journey to Western Plains High School.
Accompanying Wetmore at State were Linn, Junction City-St. Xavier, Rexford-Golden Plains, Beloit-St. John’s, Grainfield-Wheatland/Grinnell, Logan, Tescott, Hutchinson-Central Christian, Rolla, Kiowa-South Barber and Argonia.
“The trip was tiring, but the experience was definitely worth it,” Hutfles said.
After the teams were provided a nice meal, all of the teams and their supporters headed to the auditorium. Starting with RexfordGolden Plains, each team headed up to the stage for a brief introduction of the team members and their coach. Then all of the teams headed off to the preliminary rounds.
In the preliminary rounds, there were two pools of six. The top three of each pool advanced to the championship round. These teams were Wetmore, Junction City-St. Xavier, Rexford-Golden Plains, Beloit-St. John’s, Rolla and Linn.
Once the teams completed the finals round, the results were analyzed. Linn took first with four wins and one loss. Tied for second with three wins and two losses were Wetmore, Rolla, and Rexford-Golden Plains. In the end, Rolla took second, Rexford-Golden Plains took third and Wetmore took fourth.
“I was simply amazed by the amount of knowledge possessed by high schoolers across the state,” A. Bloom said.
The top three teams received plaques and medals, while fourth place won only medals. Wetmore was delighted to receive fourth place medals as it was a tough and close competition.
This is the highest placing that Wetmore has ever received in a state scholars bowl competition. Strathman was enthused by the excellent finish of her team.
“I am tremendously proud of the team’s effort and their success. They did a great job staying focused and they refused to give up,” she said.