When the scores were all sorted and totaled, it was Charlo Middle School that successfully defended its title in the 2019 Lake County Academic Bowl.
Charlo sat in second place going into the finals on Feb. 20 at Polson Middle School, trailing front-runner Poson by 20 points — 1,468 to 1,448. However, Charlo scored a big 105 points in the first of 10 oral rounds, and the Vikings went on to total 548 points in the finals. That gave Charlo a grand total of 1,996 points with Polson finishing second with 1,956. Ronan was third (1,899), Mission fourth (1,486) and Dixon (1,021).
Ronan came out on top in the 10-oral round competition at the finals with 235 points.
In the finals, Charlo had a combined total of 343 points in the written rounds, which included History, Science, Math, English and Logic. Ronan was second with 340, followed by Polson (333), Mission (302) and Dixon (301).
Teams consisted of seventh- and eighth-grade students. The written rounds can have five eighth graders and five seventh graders. The oral rounds can only have three eighth graders per round, and the remaining students have to be younger.
Charlo coach Mindy Cox saw her team win the Lake County Academic Bowl championship for the fifth straight time.
“I took over for Mr. Grebetz as the coach back in 2015. We won that year and haven’t looked back since,” she said. “The students are already strong so we tend to do well on the written rounds. The oral rounds is where it can get a bit wild. Any team can have a strong round and rack up the points to surge ahead.”
Cox said it’s similar to the game show Jeopardy — except contestants cannot choose their category.
She explained how academic teams are formed.
“Every November, the teachers help me gather the 10 strongest students for the Academic Bowl team,” she said. “These students not only have to be strong academically, but ready to work as a team and speak up within the group.”
Cox gave credit to high school math teacher Mike Michalak, who coached the team during one meet in her absence.
Dixon was added to the Academic Bowl competition this school year. Charlo and Ronan have helped bring some extra students to share so Dixon can have a full team.
The Academic Bowl advisor staff for the 2018-19 season has included Cox, Charlo; Tricia Anderson, Dixon; Stacey Doll, Arlee/Mission; Pam Oberwegner and Leslie Dalbey, Polson; and Bill Becker and Stephanie Swigart, Ronan. Marsha Wartick was the lunch coordinator.