Brain power: HHS and OMHS compete in scholars bowl final

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA–There was a buzz in the air on Thursday, Feb. 16, as the Helena High School and Oak Mountain High School varsity scholars bowl teams met in the championship match at the Shelby County Schools central office.

Students in grades 9-12 on both teams worked to answer a number of different questions ranging from history, math computation, sports, presidential history and more to decide the overall scholars bowl champion for the Shelby County School district as answers were buzzed in.

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller said this was the 35th anniversary of the county scholars bowl final and Oak Mountain would come out victorious to defeat Helena 300-155 after a number of rounds and multiple questions.

Oak Mountain High School literature teacher and scholars bowl team sponsor James Moore has been the sponsor at OMHS for three years and was happy to bring home the win after finishing in second place in 2016.

“It’s satisfying because last year we ended up getting second, so it was nice to bring the trophy back home,” Moore said. “They’ve been absorbing knowledge for years just in the classroom but we do a lot of frequency list studies and what kind of questions are asked most often, geography crash courses, and they do the math on their own. We have practice questions that we run through and it’s very helpful.”

Moore said the scholars bowl team holds tryouts in August and September and will practice at least two hours every week and sometimes more.

Adam Pendry, a junior at OMHS and scholars bowl team member, said it felt great to bring home the first place trophy.

“It feels great and it really makes the practices feel worth it,” Pendry said. “The practices are always a blast but the competition is really where we get to show off what we’ve been doing. My favorite thing is probably the bonuses and just the collaboration among the team.”

Oak Mountain will compete in the ASCA High School Regional Tournament on Saturday, March 4.