JERRY CITY — For the second straight year, Elmwood has won the Northwest Ohio Quiz Bowl League fifth/sixth grade championship.
The team finished the season undefeated and swept through the tournament under the guidance of coach Sandra Laborie.
“Not only are they smart, but they are a mature team,” Laborie said. “They work as a team, not just for themselves.”
She said members confer with each other before buzzing in.
Her oldest members led the team for the second year.
“They were my high scorers last year, too. We came in with an awesome team with experience,” Laborie said.
Ending the season undefeated came as a surprise to the coach.
“I never expect that. Any given day, there’s a set of questions one person may be (good at). I had hopes but you can just never tell.”
She said she never wants her team to feel a game is a slam dunk.
“I’ve very proud of them … they have a very mature demeanor, and they have good attitudes toward the team and matches,” Laborie said.
Elmwood beat Bowling Green Christian Academy in the championship match, 86-60.
Powell Elementary, who entered the tournament as the second seed, lost its match against BGCA in the semi-finals, 54-60.
“That was the upset of the night,” Laborie said.
In the quarter-finals, Otsego defeated Hilfiker, 95-56, with the winner facing Elmwood.
Elmwood then defeated Otsego 84-36.
Also in the quarter-finals, BGCA defeated Fostoria, 98-82, with the winner facing Powell.
Elmwood and Powell entered the tournament with a bye.
Chadryk Hiser led Elmwood with 42 points against Otsego and 34 points against the academy.
“I was pretty confident we were going to get a semi-final win,” Hiser said, “But when BGCA got an upset over Powell, I was like ‘dang, this is going to be harder than I thought.’”
BGCA was the team that did the best against Elmwood in the regular season, he said.
Elmwood had the lead after the first round by 36 points, but Hiser knew it wasn’t in the bag, with 10 questions left.
There are 75 questions in each game.
Hiser said he is best in history, geography and economics – and he got quite a few questions in those topics.
“I like answering questions and learning a lot of new stuff,” Hiser said why he plans to continue in quiz bowl next year as a seventh grader.
“I was pretty confident,” said Braxton Benner, also of Elmwood. “After our last game, we scored 132 points which made me pretty confident.”
He too will return next year as a seventh grader.
“It’s pretty fun,” he said.
“We were pretty confident because we won all of our matches but there could have been a round of bad questions for us,” said Kale Smith.
That confidence stemmed from going undefeated last year as well, he said.
Smith said he prefers questions in math, science and cooking and correctly answered what organism is used to make bread rise.
The answer was yeast, and he knew that from taking cooking in 4-H, Smith said.
He said he will return next year as a seventh grader because his mom, Katie Smith, will be his coach.
Other members of the championship team include sixth graders Brody Minich, Hannah Baker, Evan Strausbaugh and Myra Thompson, and fifth-graders Madeleine Brubaker, Shipley Morlock and Paxton Reynolds.
Powell entered the tournament the number two seed followed by BGCA, Otsego, Fostoria and Hilfiker in Gibsonburg.
Powell’s team members included Alivia Cole, Connor Coup, Ava Delancy, Blaze Kline, Konnor Mills, Ady Reynolds, Aiden Tatham and Levi Vanlerberg. The team is coached by Allison Coldren with Megan Kreinbihl as the assistant coach.
BGCA was represented by Bella Armentano, Caleb Barnes, Michael Bruhl, Darryn Grills, Kenzie Kane, James Keylock, Lily Rader, Cara Robison and Abby Watkins. Their coach is Jill Kane.
Otsego’s team members included Elyza Anderson, Crosby Brewer, Sophie Dahms, Wes Dobbelaere, Cameron Leonard-Donaldson, Pete Fuller, Jackson Guthrie, Andyn Hill and Zach Wilcox. Elizabeth Gerken coaches the team.
The Fostoria team included Sophie Brose, Mason Cooley, Aidan Dillon, Adelayde Guernsey, Mya Hartley, Bayleigh Holman, Ella Howard, Lily Hutchinson, Cheryl Weaver and Brin Weidner. Erika Hossler is the coach and Aiden Holcombe, and Miah Wilcox are the managers.
Hilfiker was represented by Grayson Burkett, Malachi Brough, Brennen Cummings, Zoe Halbeisen, Peyton Hineline, Khloe Hinkle, Jace Sponseller, Landon Swanson and Caden Vargas. Erika Montgomery coaches the team with the help of managers Peyton Montgomery and Mia Conrad.