NC reading bowl team wins third place in divisional competition


Erin Grier

Helen Ruffin Reading bowl team coach Renee Brown congratulates the team after their first round against Johns Creek and discusses strategies for the upcoming rounds. “Divisionals was harder than past competitions because of the teams you go up against. All of the teams have won some sort of stage in the competition to be there and are eager to win again,” NC freshman Beth Hudson said.

Erin Grier, Archives Editor

NC’s Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl team competed at the divisional reading bowl competition at the University of West Georgia on Saturday, March 7 to further test their knowledge of the 2019-2020 Georgia Peach Teen Book Award Nominees. The team won third place, coming in behind Walton High School and Johns Creek High school. 

“I still can’t believe we made it this far! I’m extremely happy because it shows how hard we’ve worked this year, and how much fun we’ve had as a team too. All our meetings paid off and I’m glad we’re leaving a reading bowl legacy for all the new members to follow next year. Third in Divisionals is great,” NC magnet senior Maddie Sullivan said. 

Erin Grier
With four team members graduating this May, the senior members share their favorite parts of participating in Helen Ruffin reading bowl. “I’ve never really been a competitive person, as sports was never something I was very good at, but reading bowl allowed me to really explore that side of myself,” senior Devyn Maurer said.

 After a brief opening ceremony, NC participated in four rounds against four other high school teams: Johns Creek, Tucker, Rabun County and Walton. In each round, moderators asked the teams twelve random questions based on details within any of the books they read. Players buzzed in within ten seconds, and if they answered correctly they earned ten points for their team; only five students from each team could compete each round. NC’s team consisted of seven students who rotated spots throughout the rounds.

In the first round, NC tied with Johns Creek, 50-50. NC beat Rabun County in the second round 60-40. In round three, the Warriors tied with Tucker 50-50. Walton defeated NC 60-50 in the fourth round. NC had a bye round during round five, and as a result did not participate in a final round. 

“I don’t think the questions were harder at divisionals. There were even some questions that we had heard before. There were also more really, really specific questions,” NC freshman Beth Hudson said. 

Unlike the previous two competitions NC competed in, only the first place winners at divisionals will move on to the state competition. Before this year, NC’s team had never progressed beyond their county-wide competition. 

“Divisionals was by far our toughest competition. I really liked that we got to participate in that because it made us better…. It was some really good competition,”  NC English teacher and reading bowl team coach Renee Brown said. 

The four seniors on the team competed for the last time at the divisional competition. As they prepare to graduate, they reflect on the books they read, friends they made, and the legacy they left for future team members. 

Erin Grier
At the closing ceremony, freshman Beth Hudson got the chance to reflect on her time in Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl so far, and tell the story of how she helped create a reading bowl team for her middle school. ”I think it’s absolutely amazing that we made it this far. I’ve never been in a team that’s gotten past the first stage of competition before so I was pretty shocked. I can’t believe that this was the first time NC made it this far too. We’ll definitely try to go farther next year,” Hudson said.

“I’m glad I joined reading bowl because reading is something I do all the time, and with HRRB I got to read competitively. That’s so cool to me. So in college, I know that I should definitely keep up with my hard schedule, but it’s also important for me to join clubs that reflect who I am, and clubs that will be activities that make me happy,” Sullivan said.