Saturday, April 26, 2003

Team is fast with the answer


Bethel-Tate competes in knowledge

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BETHEL - Trivia are often described as useless knowledge, but not at Bethel-Tate High School, where a command of known and little-known facts has propelled its Academic Team to success.

Bethel-Tate's Academic Team has two consecutive undefeated seasons and was the Southern Buckeye Athletic/Academic Conference champion three of the last four years. Today, the team is in regional competition at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth. The competition is a cross between Jeopardy and It's Academic, a bygone weekly TV quiz show that matched teams of competing high school students.

Teams are given questions in selected categories, such as literature, math, geography, fine arts, physical science, government and history. There's also a "lightning round."

"It's very popular at Bethel," said Nanette Kunz, the team's adviser and high school guidance counselor. "Some schools have a problem because there's some kind of stigma being on the academic team."

Not so at Bethel-Tate, where about 30 students try out for the team each year.

The team, usually about 12-15 members, is larger this year. That's because nine of the 17 members are seniors, and Kunz wanted to start grooming freshmen.

Only four team members will compete at regionals: Seniors Sarah Howison and Joey Swarthout, junior Josh Trester and sophomore Lisa Howison, Sarah's sister.

Like sports teams, the Academic Team wears a uniform and travels to compete. Teams compete after school two times a week during the season, November through March.

Other school districts in the league are Batavia, Blanchester, Clermont Northeastern, Clinton-Massey, East Clinton, Felicity-Franklin, Georgetown, Greenfield, Hillsboro, New Richmond, Western Brown and Williamsburg.

"It's general knowledge that a lot of people would consider trivia," Kunz said. "A lot of them study from 'Trivial Pursuit' and any kinds of books of lists, like presidents and vice presidents, and titles and authors."

Kunz prefers to call herself an adviser rather than a coach. "I can't help them with the plays like a football coach," she said. "It's a skill they have to develop on their own."

Besides having quick minds, the students must have quick fingers on the buzzer. It's a skill that they practice.

"Sometimes, you can see where a question is going before they're finished, and you can actually buzz before they've finished the question," Sarah Howison said.

E-mail ckranz@enquirer.com




TOP STORIES
Evidence argued in death case
Kaltmans tell tales of survival
Colleges come to terms with SARS
Comair: SARS alerts cause some travelers to Toronto to stay home

IN THE TRISTATE
Tristaters head to square to show support for troops
Hueston Woods park honored as bird haven
Elmwood Place faces new search for chief
Sycamore St. nightclub closed by its landlord
Obituary: The Rev. Joseph Willmes
Tristate A.M. Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
McNUTT: Neighborhoods
Faith matters: God's message told on street

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Millikin Woods road under way
Team is fast with the answer
Mystery bolt not from space

OHIO
Schools' 'calamity days' end if bill OK'd
Opposition swells against Ohio judge nominee
Resnick wants courts to uphold election commission ad ruling
83,000 in Cleveland may have been infected by W. Nile virus
Worker let go after 66 years
Company blames reactor engineer
Damaged trees could help enrich Scioto Co.
Waste disposal plan angers residents
OSU students warned not to party too hearty
Municipal judge indicted in arson
His name is on the scale: Charles Richter

KENTUCKY
Pattons play host to Princess Anne
Program targets children under 6
Purple will be all the rage at daylong 'People Bridge' party
Developers get in line for Covington's riverfront
Lexington TV station axes 3 top execs