South Stokes captures trophy at Quiz Bowl

By David Broyles

March 23, 2014

South Stokes High School took top honors at the annual Northwestern Regional Library Quiz Bowl Saturday at the Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mount Airy. The event also took time to pay tribute to long-time bowl judge, Tom Bagnal, who recently passed away.

South Stokes advanced to the finals against Yadkin Early College and remained undefeated in the bowl which featured a new double elimination format this year. Because of the new format, a loss to Yadkin would have meant one more match to decide who took the trophy. The final score of the deciding match was 140-70.

In the preliminary action, Mount Airy was bested by Surry Central as Elkin faced off against East Surry High School, East won that match 155-95. Yadkin Early College fell to South Stokes High, 200-135, in preliminaries, and East Surry advanced after downing Surry Central, 90-70.

Yadkin went to what became the final game when the team won, 190-70, against East.

“This is our 29th year and we were excited to have all three early colleges participating this year,” said Event Coordinator Joan Sherif.

Mount Airy Branch Librarian Pat Gwyn also helped coordinate the event. “We had a good practice this morning. We are always amazed at what the students can do. We added the double elimination format this year because sponsors and teachers said their children wanted to participate more instead of going home after one loss. We thought if participants want more of an event, it’s a good thing.”

Last year’s winning team was Surry Central High School with Surry Early College as runner up. But this year, Surry Early fell to East Surry in an elimination round, 150-100, while Central bumped Mount Airy out, 185-70. East stopped Central’s drive in a later elimination round 90-70 to set up the final matches.

This year the eight teams slated to compete included East Surry High School, Elkin High School, Mount Airy High School, South Stokes High School, Surry Central High School, Stokes Early College, Surry Early College and Yadkin Early College, but Stokes Early College did not participate.

“We greatly miss him (Tom Bagnal). I had the privilege to sit beside him for 16 years. He had a great enthusiasm for learning and to see our young people excel,” said Quiz Bowl Judge Dr. Wayne Matthews. “You may not know him but you know someone like him.” He asked the participants for a moment of silence to honor Bagnal and those like him.

Mount Airy Mayor Deborah Cochran opened the bowl welcoming participants and their families and explaining a personal tie to the event.

“You never know where this academic competition will take you,” said Cochran, who explained she was able to travel to Washington, D.C., when she was in high school by winning an academic competition. She said she had no idea at the time it would have an impact on her career.

Quiz Bowl is an annual academic competition between high school teams who complete in subjects including language, social studies, arts, science and current events. Each match challenges two high school teams against each other to earn the most correct answers and points.

Quiz Bowl is sponsored by the 13 libraries of the Northwestern Regional Library in Alleghany, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties and the Elkin Friends of the Library and Mount Airy Friends of the Library.

“We appreciate the support of all the persons who make this possible,” said Sherif. “We simply couldn’t do this without the support of communities, teachers and friends of the library. This couldn’t happen without many people. We are hoping to have more schools next year.”

David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on Twitter @MountAiryNewsDave.