Grain Valley High School’s Scholar Bowl team has had a successful season, recently winning the White Division Scholar Bowl conference championship.
The four person team of seniors Carter Barnes, Teej Hayes, Lath Hicks, and junior Alex Brooks, led by Head coach Jordan Henson and assistant coach John York, are modest about the talents that have brought them to post-season play.
Henson has worked with the team since they began high school, and is quick to praise their hard work and dedication.
“This is a faithful crew. This is my fourth year teaching in the district, so I’ve worked with our seniors since they were freshman and now they’re about to graduate. We’re excited to see how the season concludes,” Henson said.
In a style similar to the beloved quiz show Jeopardy, teams compete by answering questions from a variety of disciplines, buzzing in to answer and earn points. While each member studies to answer every question, they identified a few of the member’s strong suits.
Barnes is especially valuable when it comes to science and mythology; Brooks is the go-to person for religion, world and natural history. Hayes can be counted on when a pop culture question “pops” up.
This year, most of the competitions have been held via Zoom with online buzzers for competitors. The team has taken the changes in stride,
“There are always the random moments where the connection might not be particularly clear, but they’ve adjusted well,” Henson said.
With most of the team graduating at the end of the year, the program is focused on rebuilding and recruiting new members, which has been a challenge in a year with virtual and hybrid school.
The team members all agreed that Scholar Bowl is a great opportunity to compete with a close-knit group in an activity that allows for its members to participate in other activities at school and in the community. When asked what they enjoyed most about Scholar Bowl, the consensus was clear—winning. This is an experience the team has enjoyed quite a bit this year as they enter post-season play. Next up is MSHSAA District competition April 17th, and if the team is successful, they look forward to sectional competition in late April and state competition in early May.
The team members are planning to pursue careers as diverse as the topics they face in competition. Hicks is heading to Missouri S&T to study engineering. Barnes will head to UMKC to study biology, and Hayes plans to study cyber security. Brooks is looking at studying to become a veterinarian or vet tech.
Current GVHS students and incoming freshmen looking to continue the winning tradition of this current team may reach out to Mr. Henson or Mr. York.