Scholars’ Bowl prepares for season

The DHS Scholar’s Bowl team that took first place at the Eudora Tournament on Nov. 19. Pictured are (bottom row) Aubrey Heer and Nick Mechler; (top row) Jebbie Cavanaugh, Erick Sherman, Lance Erickson, Lexi Pasquale and sponsor Phillip Hamilton

The DHS Scholar’s Bowl team that took first place at the Eudora Tournament on Nov. 19. Pictured are (bottom row) Aubrey Heer and Nick Mechler; (top row) Jebbie Cavanaugh, Erick Sherman, Lance Erickson, Lexi Pasquale and sponsor Phillip Hamilton

Jordan Wolf, Sports Editor

At De Soto High School, students are involved in numerous sports and activities outside of class time. One of the largest activities for students to participate in is Scholar’s Bowl.

Scholar’s Bowl is an activity open to any student, assuming their schedule doesn’t conflict with other sports or activities. It features over 50 members from grades 9-12.

Having that many members on any team certainly would spell for increased depth and involvement. The team is split into two halves, varsity and junior varsity, but is still packed with members.

Head coach Philip Hamilton is happy that so many members have gone out for the team, and that is good for the overall growth and success of the program.

“I think the improved depth helps the team by making our team more visible and helping represent our school,” Hamilton said.

The team practices on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of every week, with additional practices on Mondays and Fridays later in the season. Due to the tremendous size, the team splits into two rooms for practice.

Throughout the season, the team travels after school to nearby schools to compete in tournaments. At the end of the year, it will play in the Regional meet (which will be hosted at DHS) and, if the team perform well at Regionals, the State tournament.

DHS will compete in over 30 tournaments this year. Due to the team’s large size, being able to send a full 6 person team to each meet becomes more feasible.

“It gives us more options when we go to tournaments,” Hamilton said. “It’s really nice that we’re going to have a lot of opportunities to take people.”

Typically, the varsity team is composed of seniors and juniors, while the younger and more inexperienced members comprise the JV squad. However, according to Hamilton, it doesn’t mean that the JV team is less important to the program than the varsity team.

“Depth also helps us find and build talent. Having our JV team be so strong means down the line, we’ll have three and four year members who will be very experienced,” Hamilton said.

In addition to the Regional tournament which will be held at DHS, the team also hosts two tournaments during the season – one JV and one varsity. To run a tournament, there are many jobs and positions that need to be filled by the student members of the team. Having so many players available to work at the tournament helps everything run much smoother.

Having an abundance of young players means that the team will need strong support from it’s older members and leaders. One such veteran is senior Nick Crady.

“I hope that us senior leaders will be a good influence on the younger members,” Crady said.

Outside of the on-paper success of the team, Hamilton thinks that the team is learning and growing as a unit.

“When 50 or 60 kids are in Scholars Bowl, after they’re studying academics, they’re learning. That’s cooler than anything they could be doing for two hours on their own,” Hamilton said.