They don’t rebuild, they reload. It may be a cliche, but in the case of the Cave Spring High School Quiz Bowl team, it is the truth.
The Knights, 2012 VHSL AA State Champions, graduated the first, sixth and tenth alltime leading program scorers from the squad. However, led by junior James Cole, the 2013 edition has already laid claim to the first seed in the River Ridge District Tournament even before facing neighborhood rival Hidden Valley on Thursday, January 17. Cave Spring will host the district tournament, which includes the past three state champions, on January 23.
In preparing for their state title defense, they ran undefeated through an impressive field at Blacksburg’s Academic Invitational, held January 12. Cole, Maddie Burton and Colin Rooney won ten straight matches over a field which included five of the eight 2012 AA state qualifying teams. In the clinching match, they took a 210-80 lead just before the half, and maintained that lead to top Western Albemarle 395-270. Cole averaged 137 points per match, second highest among participants from the 18 teams present.
Quiz Bowl, also known as Academic Challenge, is similar to a team Jeopardy! contest in which teams of up to four students ring in to answer questions on history, literature, science, the arts, current events and popular culture.
Coach Bob Powers’ squad is following the same blueprint which produced last year’s state title–seeking tough competition in regional tournaments to hone their skills for the VHSL push. They claimed the Brooke (WV) title, as well as the Southwest Virginia History Bowl. The squad also placed highly in UVA’s Cavalier Classic (where they were defeated by Western Albemarle), Enloe (NC) ENIAC tournament and the GSAC tournament hosted by Maggie Walker Governor’s School in Richmond. In each of these competitions, Cole placed among the individual leaders; he has also led the team to six consecutive VHSL dual match victories, over non-district foes William Byrd and Northside and River Ridge District members Salem, Pulaski County, Blacksburg, and Christiansburg.
“We had a fine performance, with some notable achievements,” noted Powers after the Blacksburg tournament, adding “..but it’s clear that we have a lot of work to do to get ready for all these teams at states.”
At the district tournament, the trio of Cole, Burton and Rooney will be joined by Brett Smith, Eric Culbertson, and Colleen Truskey, as the Knights seek to pick up the one VHSL trophy they did not claim last year–Christiansburg swept undefeated through the River Ridge District Tournament. The top three teams in the River Ridge District will advance to February 9′s Region IV tournament at Bassett High School. There, they will be joined by Tunstall and Magna Vista from the Piedmont District, as well as three qualifiers from the Southwest District. Two teams from Region IV will go on to the state championships in Williamsburg February 23.
Submitted by Ken Flint