Scholars bowl hosts tournament

Emma Bascom, Editor in Chief

The De Soto High School scholars bowl team hosted a tournament on Tuesday, Nov. 29, where 29 of the original 31 teams from all over the area showed up to compete.

Because the tournament was so large, Hamilton and the scholars bowl members had to prepare quite a lot so that things could run smoothly.

“We spent a lot of time writing the over three hundred questions that are required for a tournament of this kind. We also had to contact each school, receive registration fees, we had to organize and schedule the tournament, we had to get workers for every room, schedule the facility use requests for the rooms, train everyone for their jobs at the meet, organize the meet, and make sure that we were here and that everything was ready for the meet, contact the people who own the rooms to make sure that they knew that we were coming in the rooms, set up the rooms, make sure that we had paper and pencils—we almost ran out of pencils at the last minute,” Hamilton said. “But, we finally got everything together and the tournament ran smoothly.”

The large amount of teams competing also warranted a large amount of workers—around eighty people showed up to help run the meet, including DHS faculty and scholars bowl members themselves. Several varsity members were able to help moderate at the meet. Moderators are the individuals who read the questions to the teams, and they are essentially the leaders of the room.

Senior captains Simon Couch and Mackenzie Smith were two of the individuals allowed to take on the important task of moderating.

“Moderating went really smoothly for me,” Couch said. “People were really respectful and for the [issues] that came up, they were pretty chill about it, and we just worked through the problem.”

Smith agreed, saying that “…everything went really smoothly, the questions were really well written, and it was interesting to see how people reacted to the questions that we wrote. I think that that was the most fun part.”

Along with student moderators, there were some inexperienced faculty members who helped act as a judge.

“In order to get experienced people, you have to start somewhere. We tried to make sure that every adult was paired with an experienced student-moderator. Although, a few people dropped at the last minute, so we had to put some people into bigger roles than we expected,” Varsity coach Phillip Hamilton said. “But one of the things that we do with the student-moderators is we practice in our practice sessions … so, we made sure that they [the student-moderators] felt comfortable. We made sure that they had all of the questions, that they went to the same meeting as all of the adults and that they felt prepared. Plus, we have great students.”

Overall, Smith believed that the preparation and stress of the tournament was worth it.

“It all went really well. There wasn’t a lot of surprises that I was expecting [because of the preparation]. I read a ton of the questions over and over again in my TA class, and I also made some of the folders, and made sure that everything was in the right spot,” Smith said. “And I tried to make sure that Mr. Hamilton didn’t pull all of his hair out.”

Just one day after the tournament was completed, Hamilton took the top varsity members to a tournament that would crown De Soto High School as Frontier League champions for the third year in a row.