By WARREN DILLAWAY - firstname.lastname@example.org
ANDOVER TOWNSHIP —
After 90 minutes of detailed questions on a variety of topics including art, history, math and science, two Sesame Street characters got in the middle of the 26th Ashtabula County Scholastic Bowl Tuesday night.
With four questions to go and St. John and Grand Valley high schools in a dead heat, at 150 points each, and Edgewood High School close behind, the mis-identification of Burt and Ernie helped change the momentum and St. John went on to win the contest with 230 points, followed by Grand Valley with 190 and Edgewood with 100.
“I’m ecstatic. We’ve been in the finals (before), but haven’t won (during her time as advisor),” said Jennifer Alan. She said there was strong competition at the school to form the team that competed Tuesday night at the Veterans Memorial Performing Arts Center at Pymatuning Valley High School.
“They worked really hard. We practiced during lunch time,” Alan said.
“Nerves were a little bit of an issue,” said Mike Mahoney of St. John after the team received their trophy at center stage.
“One of the hardest things was to decide when to press the button,” said Matthew Pinelli of St. John.
“I kept second guessing myself,” said Elizabeth Kovacs, the final member of the active team.
The competition included a preliminary round with five questions answered by each team without competition, the second round involves 20 questions valued at 10 points each and the fast lane round with 15 questions with 20 points riding on each answer.
In addition to students working hard, the moderator also had a lot of preparation.
“I actually put the rounds together so I’m familiar with the questions. Then I study. I read the questions out loud over and over,” said Dr. Debra Quinn of the Ashtabula County Educational Service Center.
The competition is sponsored by the ACESC said superintendent John M. Rubesich.
“I think there is so much emphasis placed on sports and this is a great academic competition. It’s great for the kids. They train all year,” Rubesich said.