Hays Middle School sweeps scholars bowl titles
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
There was good reason the questions seemed a little longer at Tuesday's Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior High School scholars bowl tournament.
Carol Brull, the meet director, and her husband, Randy Brull -- both teachers at TMP Junior-Senior High -- wrote the questions, most longer than two or three words "to give (students) a better chance of thinking them out and answering them."
"I think they have fun at this meet because they have a good chance of answering a lot of questions," Brull said of the 12-team tournament.
The teams from Hays Middle School had some fun, taking home the gold medals in both the eighth- and seventh-grade divisions.
The Falcon eighth-graders won all 11 of their rounds, including four shutouts. And they did it in dominating fashion. They scored more than 90 points in all but one match.
TMP gave HMS its toughest match in a 75-35 victory and could have been in the running for top-three honors but came up short in three close matches, losing each by 10 points or less.
"It was really good competition," Brull said, adding win or lose, it was good preparation for the rest of the season. Next action for both HMS and TMP will be Monday at Russell.
"You should be proud," a parent told HMS coach Dave Bernasconi after Tuesday's awards presentation.
"This is my proud face," he said with a serious look.
Bernasconi finally cracked a smile when eighth-grader Blade Goering walked up and said, "Thanks for taking us to this meet, Mr. Bernasconi."
"Thanks for doing so well," Bernasconi replied.
HMS' seventh-graders also cruised through most of their matches, with their only loss being a 50-25 decision to Russell to finish with 10 victories. That victory helped Russell earn the third-place medals with eight wins. TMP was second with nine wins.
While Hays Middle School ran away with the eighth-grade title -- its third straight this year -- the race for the second- and third-place medals was tight.
Stockton, with its only loss being to HMS, placed second with 10 wins. Russell and WaKeeney-Trego each finished with eight wins, and Trego earned the bronze medals by virtue of its 70-50 victory over Russell in their head-to-head matchup.
Schools came from as far away as Colby to compete.
Joining the three Ellis County schools -- TMP, HMS and Ellis -- at the meet were Russell, WaKeeney-Trego, Colby, Ellinwood, Hoisington, Larned, Scott City, Phillipsburg and Stockton.
The meet was run in round-robin format, as opposed to separating them into pools.
"It was good you got to see everybody that was there," said John Befort, principal at Washington Elementary School in Ellis. "And what amazed me was how well it was run with that many schools. It was run really well, really smooth."