High School Students Compete in Battle of Wits

This Year's Quiz Bowl Season Ends with Intense Face-to-Face Tournament

ASHLAND, Wis. – High school students from all over Northern Wisconsin faced off in a battle of knowledge today in Ashland.

Competitive energy filled the air in the CESA 12 building in Ashland as the region’s top quiz bowl teams squared off in their only face-to-face tournament this season.

“It’s a high stakes situation, you know?” says Phillips senior Harrison Fuhr. “And I’m an adrenaline junkie, so when the moderator asks a question, everybody gets hyped, especially me.”

Quiz bowl is a battle of wits.

“I like the challenge. It’s sort of like a mental gymnast. You have to know a lot of knowledge and you have to get to it and be able to access it very quickly,” says Northwood sophomore Quincy Nesgoda.

It’s fought between two teams of four players.

“Twenty questions a round. There are two rounds. If you get a question right, it’s five points. If you get one wrong, it’s minus five points,” says Ashland junior Brooke Sapper.

It gets very competitive and very tense.

“I’d say it’s a little intimidating, just because you’ve got the people looking across at you sometimes giving you death stares,” says Ashland junior Leo Schue.

“When the question’s answered, it’s like a roller coaster emotionally,” says Fuhr.

“There’s a lot of anxiety. Just me sitting there watching them, I can feel myself getting really nervous,” says Ashland coach Nancy Pfeiffer.

Teamwork is essential, just like in sports.

“So we’ll be facing towards each other and we’ll be discussing and if more than one of us knows, then we’ll be discussing over what the right answer is,” says Nesgoda.

And for many, quiz bowl can be even more satisfying.

“Quiz bowl is better than sports because you don’t get tired and you never get sweaty, you don’t have to do it every day and it’s kind of taxing on your mind,” says Fuhr.

Everybody at the tournament is competing for one top prize, but quiz bowlers always learn weather they get the question wrong or right.

“I don’t get many right to be honest,” laughs Fuhr.

They never know when a little piece of information will come in handy.

“Sometimes you’ll be reading through a textbook and you’ll see something and be like ‘oh, I’ll never need to know this ever’ and then it’ll pop up in quiz bowl and you’re like ‘what?'” says Fuhr.

This year’s tournament champion was Ashland, with Phillips and Northwood getting second and third place.