By Elizabeth Keane, staff writer
At their most successful competition this year, nerves were high for the History Bowl team. With three Prospect finalists, a high score of 1860 as a team and a first place win by junior Joe Shepherd in Wisconsin this past weekend, the team is ready for the national tournament in Washington D.C. next month.
Shepherd is one of three competitors this year to receive a perfect score on a 50-question test out of the 2,000 competitors that took it.
“My dad would read me history books at night as opposed to fairytales.” said Shepherd. “so history has kind of been ingrained in me for my whole life.”
The team meets twice a month together to prepare for competitions, but otherwise study independently.
“I didn’t really prepare that much for this competition,” said player senior Austin Sibu. “I’ve just always been interested in history and read a lot on wikipedia.”
Sibu and Shepherd competed head to head in the History Bee competition with Shepherd claiming first place. He is now in a six-way tie for first in the nation.
“It was sort of weird competing against my teammate,” Sibu said. “Joe was the most talented competitor I went up against that day.”
Both Shepherd and Sibu agree that the History Bowl tournaments ask unexpected and obscure questions. According to Sibu, there was one question in the team competition about the photoelectric effect which pertains to electrons and light, and another about a movie called Darkest Hour released in 2017.
Tournaments consist of three parts: History Bowl, History Bee, and US History Bee. History Bowl is a team-based competition where they are asked about 30 questions and buzz in to answer. History Bee is essentially the same concept, just for independent entry. The US History Bee is a test competitors take at tournaments, which can open the opportunity to go to another history bee at the national tournament that solely features American history.
“The National History Bee and Bowl will give present-day students an appreciation for the past that will serve them and their country and world well in the future. We are committed to holding tournaments that are fair, educational, and lots of fun for all. The National History Bee and Bowl will help to prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s voters and leaders.” The official History Bowl website stated.