Quiz Bowl captures 2nd in State Tourney

by Thomas Zambiasi, News

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The Spring Lake High School Quiz Bowl team earned second place in Class B in the State Quiz Bowl Tournament, their highest placement in the school’s history. This tournament took place on April 21-22, in East Lansing at the MSU Union.

Led by coach Mr. Mike Ryan, varsity team members Ana West, Faulkner Bodbyl-Mast, Alex Miller, Sam Dicks, Nick Davis, and Thomas Zambiasi brought home the aptly bowl-shaped trophy following a challenging weekend of competition at Michigan State University.

A switch this year to the OK Blue Conference left many on the Quiz Bowl team uncertain about facing tougher competition, but the team participated in a tournament earlier in the fall at Holland High School. As a result of their third place finish at this competition, the Lakers qualified to participate in the MSU tournament.

Arriving in East Lansing on Friday, the team jumped right into an afternoon of competition. Teams came from West Michigan, the Detroit area, and even as far away as Houghton-Hancock in the Upper Peninsula to make their bid for the top spot.

The Lakers went undefeated on Friday, even coming out ahead of Houghton Central and Three Rivers — both prominent contenders from 2016. Returning the next day, the team promptly resumed playing matches. They were knocked out of the first bracket by 2015 champion Detroit Country Day; however, the double-elimination nature of the tournament allowed the Lakers to work their way back up into the final round of competition. Detroit Country Day won in this final round, defeating Spring Lake 350-170, but both teams were happy with their performances.

This tournament was definitely a significant milestone in the SLHS Quiz Bowl program. Coach Ryan recalls that the farthest any past team had gotten was to fourth place. He adds that, “they had to advance through the ‘losers’ bracket,’ unlike the current team that made it to the finals based on its first day performance.” When asked about what it is like to be on the most successful Laker Quiz Bowl team, team captain Ana West commented that it is, “definitely exciting.”

Not only was this tournament a major event for the team, it was also the final opportunity for the team’s seniors to compete. Looking back on her previous years in the team, West said, “my favorite part of Quiz Bowl has always been my teammates. We had a really great group this year, both on Varsity and JV.”

Though it is definitely bittersweet to see much of an incredibly successful team graduate, current team members are already looking forward into the next year. Coach Ryan hopes that future teams, “can build on the success the current team has experienced in recent years.” With many talented JV members moving up to the Varsity level next year, the future looks bright for the Laker Quiz Bowl team.

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