By: Vivian Duncan
Both of Newnan High School’s Academic Bowls, Varsity and Junior Varsity, competed at the State Championship this February.
Varsity placed fourth at the state meet, and Junior Varisty placed fifth at the state meet.
Varsity won third at the state qualifying meet earlier in the year, and Junior Varsity won first place this year in its competition.
Varsity team members are Caleb Perry, Angel Shumake, Lizzie Haynes, Peyton Salyards, Carson Davis and Daniel Bump. The Junior Varsity team members are Ryan Potts, Davis Adams, Cambrie Salyards, Jenna Stover, Aaron Brown and Janie Edgar.
The coaches of the Academic Bowl are Mr. Chris Swanson and Mr. Troy Cornwell, both NHS Social Studies Teachers. They lead meetings and serve as the main motivation and advisers for the students on the teams.
This is the Newnan Academic Bowl Team’s eighth consecutive year going to state. Last year, the JV team won state. Mr. Swanson, Coach of Academic Bowl, noted how proud he was of both teams’ successes at state.
The regular season ended just before Thanksgiving break, so the teams have used the past few months to prepare for the state competition.
After a strong regular season, the team members looked forward to returning to state once again. One senior, Caleb Perry, made his second trip to the state Academic Bowl meet in back to back years. He explained how he was proud of his fellow team members who he has depended upon to help continue the team’s tradition of success.
Caleb said, “I feel that it’s a good accomplishment not only for the team but also for Newnan High. Not expecting much, our first meet wasn’t successful, but as time passed, we grew as a team and began our road to state. I feel like it showed our growth.”
Not only are the students proud of themselves, but the coaches are also pleased with the teams. Mr. Cornwell, Coach of Academic Bowl, commented on their regular reason competition and state qualifying placement.
“There were several good teams in our area,” Mr. Cornwell explained. The Varsity team placed fourth out of sixty four total teams competing at the state meet.
As with any sport or activity, the teams have their strengths and weaknesses, but the Academic Bowl members are well aware of them and subsequently have worked around their weaknesses in order to display their strengths.
“The key for information on JV is Ryan and Davis, as they won the state tournament as freshman. Neither one wanted to go on varsity so we left them on JV, so they had a pretty deep chance at winning. They expect to win,” Mr. Cornwell explained when discussing mindset of the JV team.
The biggest challenge for the Academic Bowl teams this year has been recruitment, according to Swanson.
There are a lot of students who have played in elementary and middle school, but they are also involved in so many other things that it keeps them from participating.
Next year, most of the JV kids will move up to Varsity next year, as practically the entire Varsity team will be graduating this year.
Swanson elaborated, “We will have to recruit incoming ninth grader heavily to rebuild our young team.”
Swanson said this year he is “just proud of a strong season and ready for a good showing at state next year.”