T.C. Williams High School has won the Scholastic Bowl state championship for the first time in T.C. history.
The team of seniors, sophomores and juniors finished with a perfect 3-0 in the Virginia High School League competition at the College of William and Mary, unseating reigning state champion Robinson High School. Team captain senior Mark Bailey scored the highest total score in the competition with 450 points — 100 points higher than his nearest competitor. He was joined in the win by juniors Kelly Jones and Townson Cocke and sophomore Emnet Arefe-Aine.
I have been competing in the Scholastic Bowl since freshman year. I started out not knowing much, but over time I gradually picked up a lot of new knowledge. I really enjoy learning new stuff, and Scholastic Bowl is great because it exposes you to all kinds of new topics you might never learn about otherwise. I’m really proud of our accomplishment and I’m very grateful to my teammates for their dedication,” said Mark.
The Scholastic Bowl is a fast-paced question-and-answer academic competition that promotes learning, expands horizons and rewards teamwork. Questions relate to a wide range of academic topics, including science, history, literature, fine arts, religion, mythology, philosophy, and English, as well as including some pop culture elements such as sports, TV, and music. Each question consists of several sentences containing clues that progressively go from obscure to well-known.The team also competes in the televised quiz show, “It’s Academic,” on which they’ll next appear in May.
To have our Scholastic Bowl team take the state championship in an academic competition and contribute to that sense of pride makes it a meaningful victory for the whole school. T.C. is a real anchor in the community and is a great source of Titan pride. I’ve received dozens and dozens of emails congratulating the team on the historic win,” said English teacher and Scholastic Bowl coach Matthew Zahn.
Zahn has sponsored the team for the past three years and coached the students as the team evolved to become a top competitor.
Over the course of the year and over multiple years, I see students building on what they learn in their classes in order to become stronger competitors. As they develop a stronger sense of self and become increasingly more poised, they also emerge as leaders. Competition can be stressful, but these kids build resiliency and learn how to perform gracefully under pressure, things that will help them be successful in all areas of life,” said Zahn.
In what has become a Titan tradition, on the Friday before competition the Scholastic Bowl team goes head-to-head against T.C. teachers to help prime the team. Most recently, it was the teachers who were schooled as the Scholastic Bowl team emerged victorious, riding high into their competition the next day.
With the state win, the team has earned a spot at two national competitions. A banner representing the team’s state win will hang along with others from the rafters in the T.C. gym.