CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The best and brightest eighth grade students from around the state had their hands hovering over a buzzer Tuesday taking part in the annual West Virginia History Bowl. This is the fifth year for the event.
One-hundred and thirty-nine teams from 45 counties participated in this year’s competition. It started with local matches, then narrowed to regionals. Tuesday, the 24 best teams from the northern panhandle to the southern coalfields were on hand to battle for the championship.
One of those teams was Fairview Middle School from Marion County. Last year, the team took home second and fourth place. This year’s team, made up of all eighth graders, was hoping to win the title. The two guys and two girls worked hard for their spot on the team.
“They apply in the spring (of seventh grade). They start learning their information over the summer. We start with one day after school (practice) in the fall and then we continue to up our practices until its time to go to regionals and states,” explained Angel Conley, the History Bowl coach and West Virginia Studies teacher at Fairview Middle.
With questions like, “How much of the state is covered in trees?” to “Who was the 2010 Huntington High School basketball star who now plays in the NBA for the Toronto Raptors?”, the teams need to know a lot about many subjects in order to win.
Ethan Dillon is one of the members of the Fairview team. He’s also a Golden Horseshoe winner. He said being part of the competition is important to him because he gets to flex his history muscles.
“I have an amazing memory capacity so this came easy to me,” according to the eighth grader.