From The Tribune staff report
TRUSSVILLE — The Hewitt-Trussville High School (HTHS) Varsity Scholar’s Bowl team is heading to the National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT) in Atlanta on Friday, May 27.
With its strong finish at the 16th Annual Hoover Invitational Tournament, the HTHS Varsity Scholar’s Bowl proved themselves worthy of playing on a national stage. As a result, the team will represent their school in a 271-team national competition.
Quiz bowl is a competitive, academic, interscholastic activity for teams of four students. Quiz bowl teams use buzzers to answer questions about science, math, history, literature, mythology, geography, social science, current events, sports, and popular culture.
The matches feature a blend of individual competition and team collaboration since no individual player is likely to be an expert in all subjects. Participation in the quiz bowl reinforces lessons from the classroom and encourages players to develop new intellectual interests.
This will be Hewitt-Trussville’s first time attending the High School National Championship Tournament. In 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2017 they qualified but could not attend.
HTHS Varsity Scholar’s Bowl team is an all-girls team which is a rarity in the male-dominated world of academic trivia competitions. While the team acknowledges their rarity, their gender is not what got them to where they are today. They’re not alone in their rarity because HTHS junior varsity team is also an all-girl team.
The varsity team consists of six female senior players, captain Juliana Eberhardt, science; Sarah Prince, literature; Katherine Spusta, history; Wei Wei Guo, fine arts; Laura Phillips, history; and Madison Morris, geography, mixing their own individual expertise to overpower their opponents in a record-breaking way. Led by coach and history teacher Josh Haynes, who has only seen two all-girl teams since the late 70s, he’s not the only one.
Although Haynes said, he was not trying to shatter gender conventions by creating an all-girl team, many marvel at the success of the HTHS Varsity Scholar’s Bowl team.
The HTHS Scholars Bowl team has had a record-breaking year in 2021-2022, and the varsity team has a (40-13) Overall Record.
They have competed on television as a part of APT’s Alabama Scholars Bowl series. In addition, the HTHS Varsity A Team finished 4th at the 2021 West Point Winter Invitational, and the HTHS Varsity B Team also made the playoffs at the 2021 West Pont Winter Invitational.
The junior varsity team finished with a (5-1) record at the 2022 ASCA JV District Qualifier and qualified for the 2022 ASCA JV State Championship. During the 2022 ASCA Varsity State Championship, the varsity team won their pool and qualified. The HTHS varsity team then made the Elite 8 and finished in fifth place at the 2022 ASCA Varsity State Championship.
Spusta was recognized as the fourth-highest scoring player in the 2022 ASCA Varsity State Championship.
The HTHS junior varsity team finished in the Elite 8 of the 2022 ASCA JV State Championship and went undefeated (5-0) to win the JV championship at the 2022 LAMP Invitational. The HTHS Varsity A and Varsity B teams competed in the 2022 LAMP Invitational and made the playoffs. The HTHS Varsity A team finished in third place at the invitational.
The HTHS varsity team finished in second place at the 2022 Hoover Invitational, and Addison Olive was recognized as the top scorer in the JV division at the 2022 Hoover Invitational.
The HTHS varsity team finished fifth at the AIAA Rocket City Invitational.
The HTHS varsity and junior varsity teams competed in the 2022 West Point Spring Invitational, with the varsity team finishing in second place and the junior varsity team winning their division.
The HTHS varsity team broke the school’s record for points per game with 432.50 at Gadsden’s 2022 High School District Qualifier.
Spusta also won the History Bowl and came in second place in the History Bee at the Mississippi Winter History Bee and Bowl. She made the playoffs in the History Bee and Bowl in Atlanta. Spusta won the History Bee and Bowl by herself in the Alabama History Bee and Bowl. She traveled to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National History Bee and Bowl and won first in the National Women’s History exam, first in the National Black American History exam, and third in the Asian History exam. Spusta also qualified for the playoffs in the National History Bowl and was a semifinalist for the History Bee.
Hewitt-Trussville may face familiar foes in Atlanta, such as Arab, Hoover, and West Point (from Cullman) will also be attending NAQT.
NAQT results will be updated throughout the three days of the competition at http://www.naqt.com/go/stats/12402 so everyone can follow along and see how the team does. You can also follow #hsnct on Twitter.