Sky-High Hopes; DHOH Academic Bowl Team’s Road to Nationals

After earning third place at their regional competition, the DHOH Academic Bowl Team is now preparing for the national competition at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., from April 5 to 8.

At the regional competition in Cave Spring, Ga., at the Georgia School for the Deaf, the team beat last year’s national champion, the Maryland School for the Deaf. They competed in seven matches and lost one to the Model Secondary School for the Deaf. Each member of the team contributed to the victories, while freshman Bryan Yun took home the Allstar award.

As a very young member of the team, Yun said he was surprised to win the award. “When I compete in matches, I just do my best to relax and think positively,” Yun said.

The team also earned third place at regionals last year and went on to rank in the nation’s top ten. The team can only send four members to nationals; this year they will be seniors Kaylee Davis, Vicky Ganev and Hope Basile as well as Yun.

There are three rounds in a match; the first round is 12 questions with 12 bonus questions. In the second round, both teams have players who answer at the same time. In the third round, both teams participate and team members are able to discuss answers. They get about 15-20 questions related to one topic and have to answer them all in under two minutes.

“We are going to have challenges in every round and every team we compete against. There will be a lot of prepared and educated teams there,” coach Jenna Hubble said.

Most other teams practice every day or travel to retreats every weekend. The RHS team, however, practices only three times a week and still has the ability to excel in competitions. At one of their after-school practices, they hold a full match and compete against each other.

“In order to prepare, my team and I talk during lunch about what we need to work on like specific subjects or our speed reading,” Davis said.

The team also practices by scrimmaging other schools. They traveled to D.C. earlier in the year to compete against a few schools and also hosted the Maryland School for the Deaf at RHS for a scrimmage the week before regionals. The team also held a teacher vesus student scrimmage March 25.

“My goal for my team at nationals is to get to the top. Between the four players, we have a lot of knowledge and I know that we can succeed,” Davis said.